Reviews: summer

Reviews: summer

Reviews by Alice Ellerby, Saffia Farr, Jess Hazel, Rosalind Kingston-Jones and Sophie May

The Cozy Set

This doll’s house has really captured my children’s imaginations. They have loved playing with it and have been totally absorbed in the stories they have created. My eldest enjoyed drawing her own designs on the blank wallpaper, which attaches to the walls with tiny magnets so it’s easy to snap on and off. The cardboard box the house comes in is printed with furniture, which you cut out and slot together – no glue needed – so you can fill your house with beds and tables and bookcases, and there are more templates on the Storyhouse website. The cardboard aesthetic encourages other homemade additions and our bookcases now have tiny books on their shelves. The natural wood is beautifully simple and tactile and slots together with ease. The houses are modular so if you want to add to your house, you can. A timeless and enduring toy. AE


Freedom Organic Sun Cream SPF 20

This is a natural mineral sun cream that applies easily and is suitable for adults and children. It has a 2 in 1 protect and repair formula, which contains aloe vera, lavender and apricot kernel oil to help repair and soothe your skin during sun exposure. It comes in a metal container with a screw cap, which I really like, and it was easy to shake thoroughly to mix then tip on to my hand to apply, or you can use the pump. Unlike many zinc creams, this lotion is thin enough to rub easily into the skin, and I loved the scents of the essential oils. It didn’t make my skin feel clogged up as with so many sun creams. The cream successfully kept my skin safe in the sun on the days that I used it, but comes with reminders to reapply and to limit sun exposure. The cream is available with or without the pump dispenser, which contains plastic but is reusable. SF

£30.80 for 150g with pump

Organic Orange Blossom Water

Pure orange blossom water has been used as a beauty treatment since antiquity. It is a wonderful facial toner, which nourishes and cleanses the skin. It supports the microcirculation of the skin, improving general skin health and the complexion. You can apply it undiluted to cotton wool or a reusable pad, dab over the face and leave to dry. I have been using it to spritz my face because the scent is incredible; reminiscent of fragrant jasmine on special holidays, which helps me relax and smile! This blossom water is organic and 100% pure – free from alcohol, additives and preservatives. It’s now packaged in glass and the bottle could be reused. SF


Cruelty-free Dental Floss

I really like that this floss comes in a reusable bamboo container. You can purchase refills at £8.25 for 2 x 50 metres, and the tube can be recycled at the end of its life. I found the floss itself to be strong, and really liked the subtle minty taste. It’s made with charcoal fibres (a mix of charcoal and nylon) and candelilla wax, infused with peppermint oil. While this material isn’t compostable, it does use less plastic when compared to conventional floss. It’s designed to be extra durable and didn’t fray or shred as can sometimes happen. Products ordered from this shop are delivered without plastic packaging. JH


Organic Cotton Swimming Costume

I was really impressed with this children’s swimming costume. The warm yellow colour and turtle print are gorgeous – the essence of summer – and I love the frilly straps and oversized bow on the back. My daughter has eczema so it’s wonderful to find a swimming costume in a natural fabric that is kinder on the skin. It also means there is no microplastic pollution if the costume is worn in the sea. It’s a truly sustainable design, made with organic cotton and non-toxic dyes. It has 2% Lycra (free from PFAS and BPA) and the stretch allows for a size guide of 2 to 4 years, meaning you can get a lot of wear from it. Because of the quality of the fabric, I am hopeful it won’t perish in the same way that synthetic costumes do, if we take care to rinse it after use. It has a UPF 50+ rating, which gives peace of mind in the sun. AE


What on Earth! Magazine

A brilliant read for children and adults alike. We really enjoyed the latest issue as a family, and it will be great for in-between moments when travelling. The magazine sparks so much interest! It’s packed with unusual facts, jokes, exciting new discoveries and scientific breakthroughs. All the information is packaged in bite-size chunks, making it easy to digest and engaging to read, with the aim of inspiring learning through natural curiosity. My 9-year-old son especially loved the puzzles – there’s a range, including a word search, Sudoku and a picture quiz. There’s also the What on Earth! quiz, which challenged all of us, and it was fun to try to work out the answers together. SM

From £29.99 for a 6-month subscription

852Hz Intuition Candle

This is a beautiful candle that comes in a glass container that will be easy to reuse once the candle has finished. An empowering blend of essential oils and sound frequencies has been used to provide the maximum benefit of burning this candle in your sacred space. I always burn a candle by my bedside when I’m reading at night and this candle is special for that. It has a really gentle but relaxing scent – nothing overpowering. The mix includes blue lotus, clary sage and bay laurel. The candle burns down consistently and has a 55-hour burn time. It’s made in England with biodegradable coconut wax and is suitable for vegans. SF


Reusable Pouch & Snack Bundle

I use ready-made pouches of baby food for convenience occasionally, and when my son sees the brightly coloured packaging, he immediately thinks the contents are superior to the home-cooked meals I make him – sigh. So, the vibrant designs of these reusable pouches and snack bags are great! To have pouches that I can fill with food I have made myself not only saves me a fortune, but is reassuring as I know everything that has gone into it. The design of the packaging has the added benefit of keeping mealtimes on the move a little less messy. The squeeze pouches hold up to 140ml of thick liquid food, such as purees, yoghurts and puddings. They have a wide side opening for easy filling and cleaning. The snack bags are great for chopped fruit and veg and hold the same amount as a bag of crisps. All are well sized for toddler snacks on the go! RKJ


Organic Seagull Print Running Shorts

These gorgeous seagull print shorts are really vibrant and look great on my toddler. I can't wait to see him wearing them on the beach. I have struggled to find bright and colourful boys’ clothes with designs that aren’t branded or full of licensed TV characters, so these gender-neutral shorts are perfect. They have a comfy elasticated waist with an adjustable blue drawstring and are super soft to the touch. They are environmentally friendly, made using 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton and AZO-free dyes. Machine washable at 30 degrees. RKJ


Revolutionary Reusable Swim Set

This stylish swim set includes two reusable swim nappies and a matching protective swim top, perfect for my 1-year-old on our summer holidays. The reusable swim nappy is easy to use, and no additional nappy is needed. The matching protective swim rash top looks great and is made from a lightweight fabric that offers UPF 40+ sun protection, while being gentle, stretchy and comfortable when worn for extended periods during days at the beach. The material is durable and the long sleeves provide a great protective layer against sun, sand and water. RKJ


Microgreens Growing Kit

Aware that microgreens are packed with nutrients, we were keen to give this kit a try. Five popular varieties of seeds are included (pea, alfalfa, nasturtium pepperspark, sunflower and white radish), plus all the equipment you need to grow them at home, including trays, labels, growing medium and bags to create a mini-greenhouse environment. We tried these together in the office and started with sunflower and alfalfa. There are detailed instructions if you’re not confident with growing, but we also found it useful to experiment with where we placed the growing trays and watering – all good learning experiences if you are trying this with your family. The alfalfa was first to be ready and added fantastic flavour to our lunches. JUNO team


Beach Hoodie

A beautifully made poncho, perfect for family days at the beach. I love the sailing boat design, and it’s great for keeping my little one cosy after a splash in the surf! Each piece from Coastal Baby is designed in Cornwall and knitted to order. This hoodie uses soft superwash merino wool, which can be machine washed at 30 degrees. It’s available in a choice of 12 gender-neutral coastal designs and colours, in sizes 0–6 or 6–12 months. Merino wool is a natural fibre, which allows your baby’s skin to breathe and helps regulate their temperature, keeping them comfortable all day long in all seasons. Orders are carefully tissue-wrapped and sent in a white presentation box, making anything from the range a truly special gift. RKJ



Published in issue 90. Accurate at the time this issue went to print. 

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