Category Archives: The Ulula Ethos

Crafted wooden toys, made with Love

When we are looking for new products to bring to Ulula, we use our heads and our hearts equally, in the belief that if both are in agreement, we feel that we have found the right product!

When we started looking to expand our range of toys, our hours of buying and trying led us to Hohenfried.

In this modern world, Hohenfried Heimat feels to us a real gem in our midst. Hohenfried is an open community of learning for disabled adults and children, providing sheltered accommodation, schools, and employment in organic agriculture, craft workshops, carpentry, gourmet kitchens, and bakeries. Hohenfried is not simply a ‘place’. It is a home; a field of learning, a gathering of people, wildlife and most importantly of all, purpose.

Sitting in the Bavarian Alps, the landscape alternates between woodlands and meadows with flowing transitions between nature and the areas of living and working.

For Ulula, the wooden rattles that came to our attention made us fall in love! The rattles are made in the community workshops, and are made entirely of local timber, cut mostly (and sustainably) from trees grown in the communities own grounds; the toys are beautifully machined, and finished only using pure vegetable oils.

The various rattles or greifling (clutching) toys are handmade to the renowned carpenter, pedagogue, and educational theorist Hugo Kükelhaus’s original 1930s ‘allbedeut’ designs. Kükelhaus was a well-known German architect, educator and environmentalist, who designed a range of special baby toys which promote sensory, motor skills and the imagination.

Hohenfried Dreilochring Rattle
This beautiful, chunky, handmade wooden rattle, containing two balls of beechwood securely enclosed within an outer ring of strong cherry wood, makes a lovely, gentle sound when shaken. The silky, smooth surface is finished with a natural oil so you can rest assured it is safe for little mouths, and the size is perfect for little hands to grab, hold, explore and shake. A quality rattle, made with love, that is certain to become an heirloom. Comes packaged in an unbleached cotton drawstring bag.

Hohenfried Kugel Rattle

This handmade wooden ball rattle is made of pear tree wood with an inner ball of hard cherry wood. The ridged, textured surface is finished with a natural oil so you can rest assured it is safe for little mouths, and the size is perfect for little hands to grab, hold, explore and shake. Comes packaged in an unbleached cotton drawstring bag.

“My mum had a rattle just like this, and as soon as she saw it at Ulula she had to get it for my little one – it already feels like an heirloom because of the familiarity, and my LO loves it so much x” Johanna

Hohenfried Urfisch Rattle
This fun, eternally classic, quality handmade wooden rattle contains a wooden inner ball which makes a pleasing sound when shaken. The multi-textured surface is finished with a natural oil so you can rest assured it is safe for little mouths, and the size is perfect for little hands to grab, hold, explore and shake. A delightful rattle, beautifully made with love, that is certain to become an heirloom. Comes packaged in an unbleached cotton drawstring bag.

 

Hohenfried Greifling Rattle
This lovingly handmade wooden ring rattle contains a central bar holding three loose disks which make a lovely sound when shaken. The silky, smooth surface is finished with a natural oil so you can rest assured it is safe for little mouths, and the size is perfect for little hands to grab, hold, explore and shake. Comes packaged in an unbleached cotton drawstring bag.

“Love this so much – it is so beautiful to hold, and just brilliant for my son – he is teething, and he loves a good gnaw!!” Anna

 

Enjoying our Great Outdoors this Summer!

The weather is warming up, the days are longer and there’s more time to be outside doing fun things! But if you and your little one are going to be out in the sun you need to stay sun safe.

Tips to keep you child safe in the sun

  1. Encourage playing in the shade – for example, under trees – especially between 10am and 4pm, when the sun is at its strongest.
  2. Keep babies under the age of six months out of direct sunlight, especially around midday.
  3. Cover exposed parts of your little one’s skin with sunscreen, even on cloudy or overcast days. Use one that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or above and is effective against UVA and UVB. Don’t forget to apply it to their shoulders, nose, ears, cheeks, the tops of feet and the backs of knees when they’re playing, as these are the most common areas for sunburn. Reapply often throughout the day – least every 2 hours.
  4. Cover up your child in loose cotton clothes – such as an oversized T-shirt with sleeves – that you can’t see your hand through. You may still get burned through more sheer fabrics.
  5. Make sure your child wears a hat, ideally a floppy hat with a wide brim that shades their face and neck. A baseball cap leaves unprotected ears and the back of the neck exposed to the dangers of burning.
  6. Reapply sunscreen more often if children have been swimming or sweating a lot — even if the sunscreen is waterproof. And remember that you can get sunburned more quickly when you’re paddling, swimming or boating because the reflection from the water intensifies the sun’s rays. Reapply after towelling.

 

The article below is taken from parents.com and we thought it interesting.

Sun Care 101: The Basics of Sun Safety for Kids

Just one blistering sunburn in childhood can double your little one’s lifetime risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Young, sensitive skin is especially vulnerable to damaging rays, so protect your child by being sun-care savvy.

What’s the difference between UVA and UVB?

Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays make the skin tan; ultraviolet B (UVB) rays cause skin to burn. But don’t be fooled: A tan isn’t healthier. “Both suntans and sunburns are signs that skin cells have been damaged by radiation from the sun,” says Kavita Mariwalla, M.D., director of Mohs and Dermatologic Surgery at Continuum Health Partners in New York City. UVB used to get all of the blame for causing skin cancer, but new research shows UVA is equally damaging. This is particularly worrisome since UVA rays are 30 to 50 times more prevalent, and they penetrate deeper into skin cells.

What does SPF stand for? Is a higher number more effective?

An SPF, or sun protection factor, indicates a sunscreen’s effectiveness at preventing sunburn. “If your child’s skin reddens in 10 minutes without sunscreen, SPF 15 multiplies that time (10 minutes) by 15, meaning she’d be protected from sunburn for approximately 150 minutes or 2 1/2 hours. Of course, this depends on an adequate application of sunscreen and is based on SPF calculations with artificial instead of natural sunlight. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends using sunscreens with at least an SPF of 15*, which blocks 93 percent of UVB rays. Higher SPFs provide even greater protection, but only to a certain point: SPF 30 blocks 97 percent of UVB and SPF 50+ (the maximum SPF you’ll find) blocks 98 percent.

What should I look for in a sunscreen? Are sunscreen sticks and sprays as effective as lotions?

As long as you’re using a sunscreen with SPF 15* or higher that’s broad-spectrum (meaning it blocks both UVA and UVB rays), it doesn’t matter whether you use a lotion, cream, gel, stick, or spray. Some young children are sensitive to certain sunscreen ingredients. To test for reactions, apply a small dab on the inside of your child’s upper arm and check the area in 24 hours for signs of redness or rash. Sunscreens with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide are often less irritating because the ingredients aren’t absorbed into skin.

At what age is it safe to put sunscreen on a baby?

Your baby’s skin is sensitive and can easily absorb too many chemicals, so only use sun creams with zinc oxide as the active ingredient, and use on small areas of baby’s body. Use clothing plus shade as the primary method of protection. Provide additional protection by keeping her out of the sun as much as possible: take walks before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m., when UVB rays aren’t as intense; use a stroller canopy; dress her in lightweight clothing that covers her arms and legs; and choose a wide-brimmed hat or bonnet that covers her face, ears, and neck.

How much sunscreen should I use on my child? How often should I reapply it?

The Skin Cancer Foundation (skincancer.org) recommends that adults use at least an ounce (that’s a shot glass) of sunscreen, but there’s no set amount for growing children. The important thing is to cover all exposed areas (especially easily overlooked places like ears, tops of feet, backs of knees, and hands) 30 minutes before your child heads outside so her skin has time to absorb it. Reapply at least every two hours, more frequently if she’s swimming, playing in water, or sweating.


*SPF gives an indication of how much longer it will take for your skin to burn with sun cream compared with bare skin over the whole day. However, studies suggest that most people won’t achieve the specified SPF due to poor application. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 35ml for the total body – that’s around seven teaspoons: one for the face/head and neck, one for each arm and each leg, and one each for your front and your back. The average amount of sunscreen we typically apply is about half of what we ideally need to. Not applying enough sun cream reduces the level of protection we’re receiving. According to the WHO, applying a smaller quantity of sun cream leads to a disproportionate reduction in protection – if the quantity applied is reduced by half, protection may fall by as much as two thirds. Therefore, using an SPF 30 or higher is a safer option. (which.co.uk/reviews/sun-creams/article/spf-uva-uvb-sun-creams-explained)


Does my child really need to wear sunscreen in the winter or on overcast days?

Up to 80 percent of UV rays penetrate clouds and reflect off sand, water, snow, and even concrete. “Kids actually may be more exposed to UV rays on cool days because they stay outside longer,” Dr. Mariwalla says. Basic sun protection tips — clothing that covers arms and legs, wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen — still apply.

Will my child get enough vitamin D if she’s always wearing sunscreen?

Your child needs vitamin D to help his body absorb calcium and build strong bones, and sunshine is a great source. Studies suggest that some infants and children don’t get enough vitamin D (perhaps due to increased sunscreen use).

My family has dark skin. Do we need to worry about sun protection?

“It’s a fallacy that people with dark skin are immune to skin cancer,” Dr. Mariwalla says. Although skin cancer affects between 1 and 4 percent of African Americans, Latinos, and Asians, it’s often deadlier because it goes undetected longer (and rates among Asians are rising). In dark skin, cancer can also lurk in areas that aren’t exposed to the sun, like the palms of hands, soles of feet, and mucous membranes.

Besides sunscreen, what else can I do to protect my family?

Keep your child out of the sun between 10am and 4pm, when UVB rays are most intense. Dress him in clothing that have a UV protection of at least SPF 30 or that have a tight weave (you shouldn’t be able to see easily through it) and make sure he wears a wide-brimmed hat that protect his face, ears, and neck. Seek shade as much as possible.

www.parents.com/kids/safety/outdoor/sun-care-basics/

If you are planning on using a paddling pool this summer, avoid plastic toys with holes, as they can turn into a bacteria bomb:

https://blog.ulula.co.uk/2016/07/18/dont-drop-a-bacteria-bomb-in-your-childs-bathtub/

Baby’s Delicate Skin

After birth, your baby loses the protective warmth of the mother’s body and now the skin is the only border between inside and outside and the environment. Baby skin is five times thinner than adult skin and is still developing. The top layer is formed through interaction with the environment, while the protective acid mantle and barrier function are also still forming. This means that baby’s skin absorbs externally applied active ingredients faster and can be much more sensitive. The sweat glands are also not yet fully developed, so baby’s small body has trouble regulating its warmth independently.

After birth, babies therefore need a warm, protective coat, not only in the form of natural, breathable materials, but also through skin-compatible care products and loving skin contact.

During the first months of life baby’s skin needs simple, gentle care, for example your baby doesn’t need foam baths or shampoos as they only dry out the skin. A bath once a week is perfectly adequate in the first months of life and in the meantime your baby can be cleaned daily with a soft, damp washcloth. After washing or bathing, a body lotion can be applied to protect the skin of your baby and provide moisture. The most sensitive part is the nappy area, which needs extra special care. After a nappy change, it is good for the skin to be cleaned and treated with warm water, a soft cloth and then a few drops of body oil. Alternatively, you can put a few drops of oil in the water. If possible allow your baby to lie in a warm place for a few minutes, without a nappy on to allow the skin to have some fresh air. Finally, a layer of a good nappy cream offers protection against soreness.

Weleda Calendula Baby Care provides comfort and supports the development of healthy skin. From over eighty years of experience working with natural substances comes Weleda’s deep understanding of the special needs of a baby’s delicate skin. All of their products have been developed with the assistance of physicians and midwives and are dermatologically tested.

Martina Gebhardt’s Baby Care Range is demeter certified, ensuring the finest quality ingredients. The creams contain wool wax or lanolin as a base. The special value of the wool wax is that it closely resembles the vernix, the white, cheesy cell layer that covers and protects the baby‘s skin while in the womb. Wool wax gently protects sensitive baby skin and is very effective against nappy rash, which is why it is an important ingredient in the Martina Gebhardt Calendula Super- Protect cream.

Tip: Make your own wipes for traveling: for the purest option combine cooled boiled water with a few drops of organic baby oil. Place organic cotton wool pads in a shallow leak-proof container and pour the water and oil mixture over the pads until they are fully moistened. Keep the lid on to maintain the moisture and you are ready to go. As the liquid contains no preservatives or chemicals, make enough for just a couple of days at a time. You can also add some baby soap, but we didn’t find this necessary. Essential oils can cause irritation to very sensitive skin.

Is it Mothering Sunday soon? Well then, Happy Mummies Day lovely Ulula mummies x

Happy Mothering Sunday to all Fabulous Mummies, with love, from Ulula x

Treat yourself to any Martina Gebhardt Trial Kit with £10 off & free p&p

Just use code MGU178 at checkout

Martina Gebhardt’s skin care is built on the philosophy that less is more and that truly healthy skin requires a truly holistic approach. The range contains ingredients that promote healthy skin and which complement each other harmoniously. The result is a highly effective range of skin care products that nurture your skin’s functions naturally for a healthy, effortlessly radiant, glowing complexion.

All Martina Gebhardt’s products are Demeter certified biodynamic and carry the cruelty-free seal, guaranteeing the highest possible quality and absolutely no animal testing.

 Rose – balances dry, sensitive skin

Discover the beauty of the heaven-scented Rose Skin Care System by Martina Gebhardt with the Rose Mini Kit. Created for dry and sensitive skin, regular use helps to prevent premature wrinkling and support regeneration, leaving skin looking and feeling soft, smooth and radiant.

 

Sheabutter – mild & soothing

The Martina Gebhardt Sheabutter Skin Care range offers soothing, moisturising care for hypersensitive, allergy-prone skin. Totally free of any substances that may irritate allergy-prone skin, such as essential oils, alcohol, herbal extracts and bee products, and of course, any synthetic ingredients.

Ginseng – enlivens demanding, tired skin

The Martina Gebhardt Ginseng Skin Care range is packed with vitamins and activating, vitalising plant extracts to strengthen the immune system and support regeneration. Ideal for 30+ skin, it enhances the skin’s regenerative capacity, improves elasticity and maintains optimal moisture levels, leaving the skin soft and supple. Also beneficial to restore balance and harmony to your skin after an illness or a prolonged holiday in the sun.

Salvia – balances oily, combination skin

The Martina Gebhardt Salvia Skin Care products help to nurture, tone and restore balance to oily, large-pored and combination skin by working to regulate the activity of sebaceous, oil-producing glands and restoring harmony to the skin’s natural protective skin layer. The Salvia Mini Kit is perfectly sized for travelling, and makes a wonderful gift.

Happy Mother’s Day xx

 

 

Making family traditions – celebrating Christmastime together – A French Christmas

Ulula is based at Rush Farm, a biodynamic farm in Worcestershire.sheep

Between March and October, Rush Farm is supported by a wonderful group of volunteers who find us through the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms Organisation – a movement linking volunteers with organic farmers and gfrozen-leavesrowers.

The volunteers are fondly known at the beginning of their stay at WWOOFers, but by the time we are all hugging goodbye, they have become one of the family. This means that we are now very much an international family on the Farm, as is Ulula with all its wonderful worldwide customers.

We may not be ‘together’ on the farm across the winter months (a time of ‘rest’ for the farm so no volunteers are needed), but sharing our winter traditions and memories is very special.

sunset-over-frozen-sceneOur winter family and community traditions are instilled in us when we are little, and these memories and feelings stay with us as we grow up, and we bring them into our world anew when our own little ones arrive. For us, we always decorate the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve – our German roots!

These traditions are unique to each family, region, country and each generation, and we carry them with us, whether we stay in the country of our birth, or find ourselves somewhere different. ‘Different’ brings opportunities – for both enjoying, and learning other families’ traditions. We blend them into our very own happy ever afters. Just as it should be x

My French Christmas

joyeuz-noel1st December

When I was a child, it was time to buy an advent calendar an write my letter to the Santa Claus. Now it the time to think about the gifts to offer at my close family…

 

24 December

After 5 hours drive, we arrive a little tired at my paternal grandmother. But tomorrow, all the family will be here. So I gather my strengths for the essential thing : the decoration of the Christmas treedecorating-tree… baubles, garlands…

Lucky me to have an organized sister to share this moment with me! Don’t forget the garland of lights and the star at decorated-treethe top ! – or the tradition is broken.

Some gifts will be open tonight, but we will wait for our younger cousins joy to offer the best surprises. (But sshhh! all is Father Christmas !)

25 December

Latest preparations. Ready to eat all the day ! Oysters, snails, tartines of foie gras and of salmon… oystersA lot of dead animals scroll in front of me!  

I eat some toasts – I’m vegetarian but I’m greedy too ! I really like everything but I can’t eat snails – since I learned how long we need to wait before they die – and oysters – eaten with some lemon while they are always alive…

Anyway now we are ready ! It’s the veal roast – with potatoes and beans. Children be patient – the gifts come with the dessert.

So is it now ? I have finished my plate…cheese

No, keep your plate and test the amazing « roquefort » ! Sensitive noses, outside. My father is running, he hate cheese!

But not too far, because now… Yes, I’m just waiting for this. Now it’s time to the dessert : « La bûche de Noël » ! french-pudding

Unfortunately, my grandfather, a former baker, is not with us to cook it. But we can count on the neighbour and the dessert is excellent. We open the gifts ; everybody is smiling.

This was not a vegetarian day, but I’m happy because we had interesting discussions and I played a lot with my cousins. This was a joyful day!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sophie from France, who took this wonderful photo across Rush Farm this summer… happy memories indeed x

 

New! Softest safest organic cotton treasures for your little one have arrived!

New to Ulula – organic cotton Swaddles, Bibs and Baby Buddies made with only the softest, safest organic cotton…

fresk-swaddle-set-2-pc-120x120-cm-whale-blue-fog-no-box These wonderful swaddles are made from soft, breathable organic cotton muslin with beautiful designs, and are generously sized at 120 x 120cm to make them truly multi-functional. These swaddles are so useful and handy in and around the home, nursery and nappy/changing bag.

fresk-swaddle-set-2-pc-120x120-cm-elefant-pink-no-boxSwaddling your baby in the first instance is so important to support them with the moro (startle) reflex which can be both surprising and distressing to such a tiny one. Joan Salter in The Incarnating Child recommends leaving their arms free to point upwards, so that their hands are near to their mouth. This is a more natural position for a newborn, than to have their arms down by their sides. Place them diagonally across the swaddle, then fold each side in turn, finally folding in the bottom of the swaddle around the baby in an extra layer of comfort.

fresk-swaddle-set-2-pc-120x120-cm-fox-blue-no-boxMuslins truly are a mother’s best friend. I had an airing cupboard shelf full of muslins, as I found that I was using several in just one day when my daughter was tiny!

They have so many uses, here are just a few:

  • great burping cloth
  • discreet breastfeeding
  • snuggle blanket
  • dribble catcher under baby’s chin when feeding
  • sunshade in car seat or pushchair
  • protection against wind in the pushchair or pram
  • impromptu bib as your little one gets older
  • lining the cot so you don’t have to change the whole bedding after your baby is sick

Made to the highest quality from pre-washed, 100% fine organic cotton, the swaddles are kind and gentle to delicate skin.

The smaller swaddles are 70 x 60cm and come in an attractive gift box. You may find these a better size for the changing bag.

fresk-bib-burpset-whale-blue-fog fresk-bib-burpset-fox-blue fresk-bib-burpset-elefant-pink

All the swaddles co-ordinate with the wonderfully soft and absorbent organic cotton bib and burp sets which make a perfect gift for your friends and family, and yourself!

The set comes in beautiful gift packaging and contains a bib and burp cloth to ensure that messes are kept to a minimum. When feeding, the bib is simply secured with snaps at the back and the burp cloth sits over your shoulder during winding and cuddles to protect your clothes from any little mishaps.

fresk-bib-burpset-fox-blue-no-box fresk-bib-burpset-elefant-pink-no-box fresk-bib-burpset-whale-blue-fog-no-box

Organic Toys? Certainly! These sweet organic baby buddy dolls are handmade in Egypt from natural organic cotton and filled with organic cotton off cuts from Under the Nile’s organic baby clothing range.

byutn1501_baby_comforter_pink_stars_1200x1000 byutn1502_baby_comforter_blue_stars_1200x1000 pale%20blue%20buddy pink%20buddy

Certified organic fabric makes it a safe comforter and teething toy, and the natural fibres make it nourishing to a baby’s senses.

Suitable from birth, with embroidered features and no small parts, this little friend makes a perfect present for a new-born or little one.

Or, if you prefer an adorable and cute elephant comforter there is just the one for you! Made from 100% organic Egyptian cotton inside and out and safe for little mouths.

organicelephantpink organicelephantblue

 

 

 

 

Perhaps your little one needs this cute cat comforter, or this bear buddy… choices, choices!

byutn267_organic_flat_bear_blue_1200x1000 byutn6801_organic_flat_cat_pink_1200x1000

 

 

 

 

 

What is so special about these baby buddies, is that they really do become best buddies – friends for life who share in the sleepy mumblings at nap time, and the chatty discussions about the dreams they just had in the morning… perfect!

 

Making family traditions – celebrating Christmastime together – the countdown to Christmas Eve

Ulula is based at Rush Farm, a biodynamic farm in Worcestershire.frozen-scene

Between March and October, Rush Farm is supported by a wonderful group of volunteers who find us through the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms Organisation – a movement linking volunteers with organic farmers and growers.

new-calf

our December arrival

The volunteers are fondly known at the beginning of their stay at WWOOFers, but by the time we are all hugging goodbye, they have become one of the family. This means that we are now very much an international family on the Farm, as is Ulula with all its wonderful worldwide customers.

We may not be ‘together’ on the farm across the winter months (a time of ‘rest’ for the farm so no volunteers are needed), but sharing our winter traditions and memories is very special.

frozen-plantOur winter family and community traditions are instilled in us when we are little, and these memories and feelings stay with us as we grow up, and we bring them into our world anew when our own little ones arrive. For us, we always decorate the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve – our German roots!

These traditions are unique to each family, region, country and each generation, and we carry them with us, whether we stay in the country of our birth, or find ourselves somewhere different. ‘Different’ brings opportunities – for both enjoying, and learning other families’ traditions. We blend them into our very own happy ever afters. Just as it should be x

Christmas Eve in Poland (PL: Wigilia)

polish-ceThe Supper. On this special evening, we sit together with our family and have a supper of special food, singing carols (PL: kolendy) and opening Christmas gifts (dedicated only for good kids!). Gifts may be found under the Christmas tree – we can be very lucky because on 6th December we have Santa Claus and he leaves gifts under the tree, and then again on 24th Dec under the Christmas tree we have presents again – nice! 

 At first we pray together. After that, we share between each other something like communion wafer and we wish each other all the best. People are living in a hurry these days. It happens that it’s once in a year when people have time to visit their families to say warm words of love to each other. I hope this tradition will never die and become everyone’s daily “routine”. We polish-christmas-eveare lucky to have such a great people around us, and it concerns you too, guys.

Then, we eat. We eat a lot. Nobody is proud of it, but we do it anyway!! 

After hours of eating, singing, all the gifts and food, most people start to watch Home Alone. In some families they can sit without telly and talk and sing bit longer. We are going to the Church for ceremony that is on 12:00 AM – in cities that could be earlier.

Food: There are some differences between sides of Poland. The old tradition says that should be 12 dishes (but nobody I know is quite sure how to count, for example is bread a dish or not 🙂 ). Main thing is that the dishes are not with meat at all. Mostly is Fish, things are made from flour, and vege stuff.

Menu for Wigilia:

  • Beetroot soup with small raviolis with mushroom stuffing (PL: Barszcz czerwony z uszkami)beetrot-soup
  • Mushroom soup (PL: GRZYBOWA)
  • Polish dumplings (ravioli, pierogis) – with cabbage and mushroom stuffing, and common ones with potato and cottage cheese stuffing. (PL: PIEROGI)
  • Very popular are fried Carp Fish in the bread crumbs. But other fish is sometimes now used, and is cooked in different ways 
  • Second popular fish is vinegar herrings with onion apple and sour cream pierogi
  • Beverages: drink is special compote from dry fruits
  • There are always some cakes – a popular one at this time are poppy cakes

There is also a tradition that one chair & one plate by the table is empty. That means we are ready to welcome any refugees or homeless people on this day, so they might join us.

radek-and-asia

Radek and Asia, Poland x