Lifestyle Essentials: timesaving, plastic reducing and happiness making

Here are a few items that have come in handy either for me or for one of my girlfriends this summer. They have become my lifestyle essentials as they are making my life easier and in some cases they make me happy. A pretty vase of flowers, a hot cup of mint tea, the little Book of Lykke or an app to guide me to reducing my plastic usage all make for a happier and easier life.

OLIVE OIL DISPENSERS

Lifestyle Essentials: timesaving, plastic reducing and happiness making   Olive oil dispensers

I bought this pair of olive oil dispensers at the beginning of the summer. They come in a pack of two which is perfect as one I fill with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the other with Light Olive Oil for cooking with. We are now warned that it is important to cook with light olive oil which is also much more agreeable to one’s purse.

The bottles have a flip top making them more hygienic than most olive oil dispensers. They have a wide neck for easy refill and cleaning. They have an advanced filter on the lid that will keep spices and flavours (such as hot pepper) from clogging the pouring spout. Oil will be steadily dispensed and there won’t be any spices stuck while refilling.

They sit by my cooker and so are at hand when I am cooking and they look nice!

To purchase from Amazon for £19.99 click HERE.

WASHING UP PADS

Lifestyle Essentials: timesaving, plastic reducing and happiness making

I currently have three of my children and their partners living at home for various reasons and so the evening meal and washing-up afterwards is full-on. I love my daughters to pieces but when they cook they do not adopt the rule of washing up as they go along. So at the end of the meal the boys wash up! These little beauties are the perfect tool.

They scrub your pots and pans with the reassurance that you won’t damage the surface. They get everything off and I mean even those burnt on brown bits. There are three sponges in the pack, each a different shape so there is one for any shaped pot or dish. One of the three is a squeegee and soap dispenser for ultimate foaming.

They are mildew and mould free and consequently are odour free but the best news is that they do such a good job so I don’t need to rewash the pots and pans already washed by my willing helpers.

To purchase from Amazon for £8.95 click HERE.

JING TEACUPS

Lifestyle Essentials: timesaving, plastic reducing and happiness making

I was given a set of these handmade double-walled glass teacups and have used them not only for hot tea but I have served iced Gazpacho in them this summer. The glass design enables you to keep your tea hot while the surface remains cool to touch.

JING TEA also produce these very modern tea infusers – the Tea-iere ™. They are so pretty when you are making an infusion for example mint tea.

Finally they also sell a complete range of specialist teas which I can highly recommend as they are all delicious. They are single origin and single garden teas, selected from Asia’s best tea regions. Picked at just the right time and expertly crafted, they embody the unique essence of their origin and the skill of their tea maker.

I put this product as a happiness making one – there is nothing better than a hot cup of tea to solve life’s ups and downs.

To go to the JING website click HERE.

VASES from Freddie’s Flowers

Lifestyle Essentials: timesaving, plastic reducing and happiness making
THE CUT DOWN VASE

I am sure most people have heard of Freddie’s Flowers, the home delivery cut flower service. I love receiving their flowers as they are always of the highest standard, often last for as long as two weeks, and best of all they come with instructions on how best to arrange them. I have to admit to not being a Constance Spry.

More recectly I bought their vases which are just the right shape and size to display the flowers at their best. I particularly love the cut down vase which is great for the second week when some of the flowers may need to be discarded.

Click HERE to see the full range of vases from Freddie’s Flowers.

MY LITTLE PLASTIC FOOTPRINT APP

We have all climbed on the climate change bus as we have been made so aware how plastic is destroying our planet and if we want our children and grandchildren to enjoy the world and its inhabitants as we have then we need to do something. I don’t mean just recycling.

Lifestyle Essentials: timesaving, plastic reducing and happiness making

My Little Plastic Footprint is an app that helps you reduce your plastic consumption by going on a plastic diet. Reduce your plastic usage and choose sustainable alternatives.

It is very simple, choose one or more of these six areas of your life – bathroom, kitchen, travel, leisure, household, and garden – and start your plastic diet. The app has created a Plastic Mass Index (PMI). The PMI is a measure to calculate your contribution to plastic. pollution. The closer your PMI is to zero, the less you contribute; the closer your PMI gets to 100, the more you contribute. TheMy Little Plastic Footprint app will help you reduce your plastic use and advise you to choose the right alternatives. Plastic has a lot of toxic chemicals added to it so we do not want these toxins to escape into our environment as they affect our health and can make us very sick.

Go to the App Store to download it onto your phone.

TRASHPLASTIC.COM

Here is another website, Trashplastic.com that will help you reduce your plastic usage.

Lifestyle Essentials: timesaving, plastic reducing and happiness making

I love the nitty-gritty detail on the best, most sustainable, plastic-free products, services, resources, places, hacks, DIY’s and everything else that shapes how we now live.

In the bathroom there are tips on using reusable cotton pads. It’s the buy-once, use-re-use-re-use-re-use that’s where the good stuff happens. If you use them for eye-make up massage them with soapy water afterwards. It’s much easier to keep them stain-free if you give them a quick wash as you go.

Cotton buds: The stats around the number of cotton buds that turn up on beach cleans are horrendous! Foolish folk flush them down the loo (along with their wet-wipes I expect) and they end up in our waterways. It’s likely the UK will ban these plastic pests at some point (Scotland already has) and some brands have already made the switch to paper sticks. But a better option altogether (outside doing without) is bamboo, which is stronger AND more sustainable. These two are great, as the packaging is compostable too: Hydro Phil & Non Plastic Beach.

Commercial snacks are a real no-no. Crisp packets are so bad for the environment however Two Farmers Crisps are the only compostable packs out there. Surely it’s only a matter of time before others catch on. These crisps are not cheap but they are delicious. One to file under buy-less-buy-better, perhaps.

I think you will be shocked at how much plastic that you use.

THE LITTLE BOOK OF LYKKE by MEIK WIKING

Lifestyle Essentials: timesaving, plastic reducing and happiness making

And now for something to cheer you up once we have tried saving the planet. We have embraced the Danish work Hygge and now Meik Wiking introduces us to LYKKE.

Meik Wiking, is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and author of the bestselling sensation The Little Book of Hygge. He believes that, whilst we can certainly learn a lot from the Danes about finding fulfilment, the keys to happiness are actually buried all around the globe.

In this captivating book, he takes us on a treasure hunt to unlock the doors to inner fulfilment. From how we spend our precious time, to how we relate to our neighbours and cook dinner, he gathers evidence, stories and tips from the very happiest corners of the planet. This is the ultimate guide to how we can all find a little more lykke in our lives.

To purchase from Amazon, £8.19, click HERE.

For more Lifestyle Essentials go to our section dedicated to making your life easier and happier. Click HERE.