13 Oct 2015

Why Wildly Woolly Loves this HOT & SWEET Tomato Chutney

We love all things natural, hand made and created with love. Yes that includes food! And we've got a simple delicious tomato chutney recipe that uses up even the semi-ripened tomatoes so there's no need to waste anything.

This year we've found our tomatoes haven't done so well, probably the unsatisfying Summer we had, and instead of ripening on time we still have many on the vine that are waiting to turn red. Well if you are anything like us you hate to waste (escpecially all that time and energy you put into growing them!)- so we've got a great chutney recipe that you can use even the semi ripened tomatoes in.

What we did was take some of the tomatoes off early and let them ripen on the windowsill, and the other half we picked off still semi ripened.

SIMPLE HOT & SWEET Tomato chutney: 

You will need:
Approx 5-6 empty jam jars (we like to recycle so storing them up as you finish jams)
Giant saucepan or jam pan 
Pestle & Mortar
3kgs tomatoes (any, but we had grown Roma)
2Tbsps Salt
10 cloves garlic
1 inch fresh ginger grated (or 1tsp of ground ginger will work)
2 dried small chillies crushed (or 1-2tsps chilli powder) this is optional and can be left out or put in as you like (be warned though!!)
1 pint Vinegar (white or malt)
1kg sugar (any sugar will work, we used castor)

  • Roughly chop up the tomatoes (no need to remove the skins or seeds) place them in a bowl and add the salt sprinkled over, and leave to sit.
  •  Meanwhile add the garlic, ginger and chillies (optional) to a pestle and mortar and grind into a paste and leave ready.
  • On the stove pour the vinegar into a jam pan (a really big sauce pan of any description will work!) and add the sugar.
  • Bring this to the boil slowly, stirring.
  • Once boiling reached add the paste and stir, then add the salted tomatoes and keep stirring until mixed through.
  • Boil gently stirring occasionally, for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the liquid has been reduced by half - in the last half an hour keep an eye on it as it's easily burnt!
  • In the mean time you can be getting your jars ready - (click here to have a look at our Jam making blog to see how best to sterilize your jars ).
  • Once everything is ready set your jars out (beware they will be hot), and start spooning the chutney, still hot, into your jars (a jam funnel makes this easier but don't worry if you don't have one), seal them as you go. 
  • As they cool you should hear the lids 'pop' as a vacuum is created to seal them completely.
Enjoy with cheese and cracker or in a sandwich - YUM!!

Ps. We've got this pinned on our Pinterest click here to check out our other favourite recipes for healthy families

18 Jun 2015

Organic and Natural Kids Summer bag Essentials

Yay! It's finally Summer! It's so great to be getting out doors and enjoying the warmth. But for most of you Mums you will be thinking about your children and protecting their skin against the harmful rays.

We don't want to stop them having fun outside, but we do want to make sure they are protected! So here at Wildly Woolly we have put together a few fab suggestions for the essential beach/summer day bag! Along with this we're giving you the opportunity to win 1 of 3 Green People's Organic Children's Sun lotion, details below.

1). The Bag:
First things first, and in order to carry all this great kit you need a bag. Not just any old bag, we've found a super duper bag that will have all the Mums asking where you got it from! The Notting Hill Tote bag from Pink Lining is so funky and has so many great features. Our favourite being that it's made of water resistant coated canvas - so even if it does get splashed it will keep everything nice and dry! Yay!

Internal Features:
  • 2x removable insulated bottle holders, 
  • 2x nappy pockets, 
  • pen holder, key fob, mirror, phone pocket, small zip pocket, 
  •  padded changing mat and wet zip bag.

2). The Towel:
Let's face it, kids don't get out of the water much, once they're in, but when they do what could be better than a poncho towel to sit in whilst they dry-off. At Bebeco they have a fab Organic cotton and Bamboo towel which we love!
  • Designed for little ones from 1 to 3 years.
  • A blend of Organic cotton and Bamboo, creating a beautifully fluffy towel.
  • Created with the help of baby swimming professionals.

3). The Swimwear:
We've discovered some really great kids swimwear from Swimbabes that in particular can help protect those babies and children who suffer from Eczema and sensitive skin. Protective creams can make babies very slippery in the water, but with these grip suits on they can splash about safely and in comfort, as well making it easy for Mum to hold on to their little ones.

  • Available in ages - 0/3 months up to 1/2 years
  • Available in a range of colour options
  • Recommended especially for kids with sensitive skin.

4). The Hat:
These hats are so adorable, and what's more they're reversible so you ultimately get two hats for one! From the wonderful planet-friendly Kite Clothing company, who like us at Wildly Woolly, love Organic cotton - high five!

  • Girls reversible hat - Using their beautiful primrose potato print and rainbow daisy print, with a little elastic at the back to ensure a good fit. Made from organic cotton because it's good for the farmers, for the planet and good for you.

    • Boys reversible hat - featuring ocean print on one side and gingham check on the other, something rather special! Made from organic cotton because it's good for the farmer, good for the planet and good for you.

    5.) The Sun cream:
    We love this Green People's Organic Children's sun lotion.What's not to love with great reviews from Mums who's kids have had problems with other sun creams saying this one is a dream, so grab one for your little one!

    • SPF 30
    • Scent free. 
    • Its perfect for sensitive skin, and what's more they give a 30p donation to the Marine conservation society when you buy one.

    6). The Sun glasses:
    We have been looking all over for organic sunglasses - so if you know of any let us know! But for now we found these great kids UV protection sunglasses from Polarn O. Pyret. A great company that also offers a range of eco and organic kids things - check them out!

    • Designed for 2-6 year old
    • UV protection

    7.) The UV Bracelet:
    These inventions are incredible and we take our hats off to Nipper Skipper. The kids bracelets are made with beads that will change colour when exposed to UV, letting you know it's time to put sun cream on - now how clever is that?

    • 2 funky colour  options
    • Changes colour when exposed to UV light

    And finally ...
    8). The Toy
    After a fun filled day that has exhausted everyone, even the dog, it's time to head home. And your last item is probably the most important for your own sanity - their favourite Wildly Woolly toy, to cuddle and thus stop the wheels falling off, which does tend to happen even to the most angelic of children, after a fun and adventure packed day! Don't forget to pull it out from the bottom of the bag and hand it over to make the journey home a peaceful one for all!

    • 100% Natural Organic cotton
    • CE 0+
    • Machine washable
    • We've also got a Giveaway of one of our Elephant toys on Green People's Facebook page - got to be in it to win it!

    Have a wonderful summer and remember to keep yourself protected too!

    13 Apr 2015

    Why is Organic Cotton so Important?

    At Wildly Woolly, we're raving about our products being Organic Cotton, we love it and all our products are made from it. But then we thought, hang on, not everyone knows about it's benefits, and some of you are probably thinking - 'Sounds good, but I don't really have any idea WHY that's good and why I should be choosing it?'

     So let's see Regular-cotton (non-organic) vs Organic-cotton. We want to explain to you why Organic cotton is good, but also why non-organic cotton is bad.

    Down with the non-organic cotton:

    Why is regular or non-organic cotton so bad for us?
    • 2.5% of the world's farmland is taken up by cotton. 
    • BUT it uses 10-16% of the world's Pesticides (including Insecticides, Herbicides and Defoliants).
    • During processing, regular cotton uses more chemicals per unit area than any other crop. Chlorine bleach is used to whiten the cotton, heavy metal dyes colour the fibre, and some even use formaldehyde resins which are the often the hidden hazards used to treat cotton to make it 'easy care' material.

    What's wrong with that? Well those Pesticides don't just kill off anything that might affect the cotton growth, they can be toxic to the farmers or pickers if this is still done manually.  They can have a negative impact on the local ecosystems and biodiversity as they don't just kill off the pests, but everything around it. If sprayed from the air as many are, the pesticides can drift into surrounding villages affecting the population living nearby, as well as forming a toxic run-off that contaminates the groundwater. So the toxins aren't just confined to that area and those plants.

    Still thinking this doesn't affect you directly? Well here goes - some of the chemicals from the pesticides are absorbed by the plant, so a lot of the toxins are retained by the Regular cotton. Residual chemicals can irritate the skin, especially those with sensitive skin and allergies. Not only that, most of the pesticides used on cotton fields have been considered by Environmental Protection Agencies as 'likely' to be carcinogenic.


    Benefits of Organic cotton:  

    At Wildly Woolly we're all about the Organic cotton, and here are some facts to backup why we love it:
    • A field must be pesticide free for 3 years before the cotton grown on it can be classed as Organic.
    • Seeds for crops are not GM (Genetically Modified which they often are in regular cotton).
    • No use of toxic chemical pesticides, only natural composts, and the prevention of pests is done by encouraging their natural predators and preserving the natural eco-systems.
    • Crop rotation and mixed crop planting is used to prevent the exhaustion of the soil and the need for unnatural additives.
    • The Eco-friendly processing also helps as dyes are environmentally friendly, but also free of Chlorine bleach. Which means no harmful toxins left in the cotton that touches our skin.

    I may be preaching to the converted with some of you, but it's always interesting to read about these things I think, even if we feel we know it already. If you didn't know and just thought this was the latest fashion to choose Organic cotton, hopefully we've made you see why choosing Organic cotton is actually important, no just for you, but also for the environment and our planet! 


    30 Mar 2015

    Wildly Woolly's first guest blog - Happiness.

    with thanks to Alka Bahal for allowing us to share these precious thoughts.

    Happiness – A journey

    Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.”
    Mahatma Gandhi

    In the last few weeks, I find myself become quite intrigued about the life of Mahatma Gandhi and his teachings. Mahatma Gandhi is one of the most revered figures in world history. He was a diminutive man who had the courage to stand up to British Rule in India and fight for Indian Freedom and independence as well as justice for the oppressed. Gandhi went to jail several times during this struggle and yet never harboured any hate or animosity against his oppressors. Instead he said:

    Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love.” 

    Has the world forgotten his teachings? Have we forgotten how to be happy and peaceful, whether things are going our way or not? I find myself doing a lot of philosophical thinking of late and I want to find out what can make us happy? Why are so many of us unhappy when we have so much to be grateful for?

    A wise woman once told me “It is more important to be positive when things are not going so well. It is easy to be happy and positive when things are going good, but we forget this when things are not going well and complain instead.”

    I am trying to implement these values into my life now. There was a time where I would complain and whine about things – whether it was work or colleagues or life in general. I found that this would make me feel negative and stressed and have effects on my health. I would feel sick, have a headache and feel nauseated and weak. Negativity grasps your thoughts really hard and doesn’t let go so easily. It can make you feel depressed and helpless and useless. It tends to overpower you and you feel stuck in this dark place and don’t seem to find a way out.

    Granted, it can be hard to find happiness and peace during our “bad times.” When things do not go well, we try to find scapegoats and blame other factors for our problems by saying “We are in this situation because of so and so” or “It’s that one’s fault or this one’s fault.” We all have done this at some time in our lives – we find it easier to blame other factors or situations for our problems rather than try to find a way out of them. I have been thinking recently, maybe if we started working more on finding solutions to our problems rather than complaining and finding a scapegoat for them, we would save time and perhaps find a way for the situation to become “ideal” again.

    This brings me to another question: Why be unhappy in the first place? A lot of people will say things like “I am not happy because I don’t like my job” or “I do not like where I live,” or even things like “I do not have enough money” or “My life sucks.” Then I wonder, if money makes people happy, why are some of the world’s happiest people poor and many celebrities and rich people on drugs and unhappy?? And if your job is causing you grief, try look for other work or find a career change. If you feel your life sucks, well you are responsible for your own life, find things that make you happy and do them.

    I was always told when I was younger to “count your blessings.” I find in the world these days people don’t know what this means or have somewhat overlooked this. Many of us seem to be competing in a rat race and are engrossed in trying to buy the latest cars and have the newest gadgets and trying to keep up with the Jones’. We tend to compare ourselves to others who are more affluent and successful than ourselves and go “He has a better car than me,” “He earns more than me,” and such goes on. We feel somewhat cheated especially if we feel we deserve better and someone else got something that we wanted. Envy is a vice; it can breed hate and again leads to negativity and deterioration of one’s health and peace of mind.

    As I have been through this journey, I have found that indeed, happiness comes from within. When you are unhappy or insecure in something about yourself, it prevents you from being truly happy and positive. We have to learn how to love and forgive ourselves. Whatever it is that happened in the past, or whatever decisions you made before that have led you to an unhappy state, you have to let it go and find a solution to restore your state of mind to peace again. Let’s count our blessings every day. We have the biggest blessing of all – life, the present. Let’s make the most of each day we live and learn and love. This will ensure positivity and happiness. Give it a go! You will be surprised what happens when you start to condition your mind to take responsibility for your own happiness and to challenge every negative thought with a positive one. I keep telling myself– “Pretend you are Muhammad Ali, in a boxing ring and you are not going to go down without a fight.”

    A big thank-you to Alka for allowing us to share these thoughts, because we all strive to find happiness, and too many people look to outside factors, when really we must start by looking in.


    24 Feb 2015

    Alfie the Kenana Monkey and his best friend Noah.

    We wanted to share with you all, the beautiful story of Alfie the Spider monkey and his best friend Noah, since both at Wildly Woolly and Kenana Knitters, we have been so touched by it.

    It begins on a normal day, the 22nd of January, not noted for anything special in particular, but it soon became special to the extended family of Kenana Knitters. We received an email, full of hope:

    Alfie 1

     'I'm desperately searching for Kenana Knitters spider monkey in green. My son who is 3 years old adores his Alfie. We are afraid that once we will not find Alfie. Till now we have had a lot of luck, finding him every time that Noah has lost him..... but our luck may not last forever! Is there a store in the UK or online shop that still has a green spider monkey? We have already bought a red and yellow one but that is of course not his Alfie! Noah has autism spectrum and is very attached to his best friend so we really hope that we will find him Alfie twin ;-)
    Thanks in advance!'

    The email was from a wonderful lady called Selma (who has okay-ed us to share this with you), and we were so touched to hear about how much one of our toys was loved! Unfortunately we didn't have a green Monkey in stock, but where there's a will there's a way?! We liaised with Kenana, and once colour and size had been confirmed, the Knitters managed to get one made up in Kenya, and Alfie 2 was born.

    By February the 10th Alfie 2 was on his way to Wildly Woolly in the UK, and his new family to be were very excited about his arrival. We managed to get him into the mail as quickly as possible from our side and he arrived at his new home on the 12th of February!
    Alfie 2 ready to be sent to his new home!

    Selma wrote to let us know...
    'Just to let you know that Alfie 2 is finally home. He is so beautiful just as Alfie 1 used to look like in his younger days ;-) ! I pretended that Alfie 1 came clean and new from the washing machine. It was easy for Noah to believe because he is really the same. Noah was sad about Alfie 1's thumbs which he did not have anymore! He'd asked me so many times to make them but I'm not that good at knitting. Noah is happy and Alfie 1 is now safe in a box to keep him as a memory of his first best friend.
    Thank you so much! 
    Warmest wishes'
    It's stories like these that make what we do a real pleasure. From the loving hands that created them, to the loving new family that receives them, it is truly a story of love! We'd like to thank Selma for supporting the women of Kenana Knitters and also Noah for the love he gave to Alfie 1 and now to Alfie 2. You are a wonderful family, thank-you!

    19 Jan 2015

    Happy 2015 from Wildly Woolly and the women of Kenana Knitters

    What a year 2014 was, it will be hard for 2015 to match it. But as a way of looking to the future, we thought we'd remind ourselves and you, of what Wildly Woolly stands for and looks to achieve by it's existence.

    So early 2014, Wildly Woolly Ltd started up, and things were off to a flying start... within a few months we were also the wholesalers for Kenana Knitters toys in the UK. Which unfortunately was due to the closing down of Kenana UK. However we were honoured to be asked to take on the role and are looking forward to building new relationships with great businesses.  

    Wildly Woolly's desire was to become a business that supports and upholds the ethos of Kenana Knitters, and by that we needed to be:
    • Ethical & Socially responsible
    • Natural
    • Environmentally friendly
    • Offer great customer service
    • Approachable
    • Honest
    • Unique
    We've done our best, and I hope you feel we have too. We will continue to strive on all of these points but some in particular we'd love to remind you of, our packaging is all recyclable as well as FSC sourced materials ('In order to be given FSC certification a forest must be managed in an environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable manner'). Our social medias like Pinterest and Facebook feature exciting ideas and ways of the three R's - Reduce Reuse Recycle, as well as links and tips for Ethical shopping and cleaner ways of life. Don't forget to follow us or like our page if this is something that is also close to your heart.

    We wanted to share the wonderful story of Kenana Knitters with as many of you out there as possible, and we're still working on it, but we'd like to thank you too for helping to share the love as without you all, life would be a lot more difficult for these women in rural Kenya. Can I remind you here, especially those that don't receive our newsletters that Kenana Knitters now supports around 600 women in the local area. Woohoo and thank-you!

    So looking forward into 2015 we'll be bringing you new products, we've already got some one on the website - this new spider snow leopard who is just crying out for a child to love:


    We will also keep you updated on the women in Kenya and any news or exciting venture of Kenana Knitters (psssst they are getting a new website soon, we can't wait! We'll let you know when it's up and of course we'd love to know which products you'd like us to start selling as there's so many to choose from that we can't stock them all - but we'd like to built it up!).

    And finally, don't forget to share with us the cuddles that our lovely Knitter Critters are getting from their new best friends. Post it on our Facebook page, or Instagram. Or otherwise feel free to email it to us and we'll pass the message back to the Knitters themselves.

    Thank-you and all the best for 2015, we look forward to the coming year together!

    Wildly Woolly Ltd