May 31, 2018



You guys might already know Sophie Vine from her beautiful online kids store 'Vines of the wild' or she may be more familiar to you as 'Sophie and Dale' from The block T.V show who created amazing kids rooms (Seriously, I don't think I'll ever forget that room!) Sophie is a creator and  lover of all things natural and takes the time to share with us some great tips on living a natural lifestyle and something she is newly passionate about; living a minimalist lifestyle!


Hi Sophie. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us today! We’d love to know what are you most passionate about personally and professionally? What gets you up in the morning? (apart from the kids waking you up of course!)

Tough question right out of the gate haha. Well for me, since having children, my passions change as my family does because they’re all that matters. Right now, as Shep is out of the newborn haze (which I always find difficult), I’m right into organizing our routine again. Our days have been a blur, so I’m excited to get Van back into some kind of rhythm and focus on his daily activities again. He is really great at independent play but I miss exposing him to a range of play opportunities and facilitating experiences that help him grow and develop. I wake up so pumped to organize his play spaces, make charts, get the paint out, collect leaves, all while watching his face light up in amazement. I’m so passionate about moulding Van into a hands on, independent learner as well as giving him a true appreciation for the natural world and compassion for his fellow mankind.
Strangely enough, my professional passions go hand in hand with my personal at the moment. I’m right in the middle of exploring more natural products to help children with their developmental play journey and outdoor nature adventures. My educational products always do the best and I think it’s because my two passions of design and teaching meet so effortlessly and the results resonate with so many like-minded mothers.
What was the reason behind you starting your business Vines of the wild?

Vines of the Wild basically came about because since becoming a mother, I’ve really enjoyed being completely immersed in all things children and baby. I really wanted to contribute to what was being offered for other like-minded mothers where simple, beautifully designed natural pieces were a priority for their children’s spaces. With a focus on local designers and handmade, I reached out to my favourite Australian children’s brands in the hopes of collaborating with them to create exclusive pieces in my aesthetic, but using their expertise. We have so much talent in Australia and I really wanted to utilise the skills of these incredible artisans to create something special and unique. All pieces have a really earthy feel using really beautiful neutral tones, with a focus on natural materials. I’ve been lucky enough to combine my two passions and skill sets, using my degrees in graphic design and primary teaching and of course everything that I’ve learned being a mother.
Many people are just starting out on their low-tox journey, what would you suggest to them is the most important things they do first?

It’s definitely a long journey that has to be taken one step at a time or it will just seem far too overwhelming. I would suggest prioritising what is most important to you first. The easiest start would probably be to do a full spring clean starting with your cleaning products and your children’s toys. Removing all harsh chemical cleaning products from your kitchen and laundry and replacing them with gentle natural and environmentally friendly ones will do wonders for your family. It’s a myth that natural products don’t do the job properly and that you need harsh bleaches and sterilizers to keep things clean. I recommend Eco store, planet choice and seventh generation. And don’t forget, by not using those harsh bleaches and sterilizers, you embrace the good bugs to build your family’s immune system to become a more resilient household – no more daycare/school bugs every week! You’ll feel that much better knowing you’re helping the planet in the process.
Purging the kid’s toys will be easy – we already know that they have way too many and only really play with a handful. Start with removing those plastic ones that are broken and have missing parts and then move onto the others that aren’t made from natural materials such as wood and natural fabrics – they are the ones that will be appreciated, looked after and last a lifetime. No more land fill, what a great lesson to teach the kids during the process.
When you feel more confident, you can move onto removing all your plastic from the house including containers in the kitchen and replacing them with glass or metal, then the kid’s plastic bowls, cups, and utensils with recycled bamboo or wood.
Do you have any other easy, actionable top tips that you use for raising a more naturally inclined family? 

I think just living really minimally. Don’t have 6 plastic cups for the kids, just have 2 really good quality ones and wash them more frequently – it will make the cost that much easier to justify and your house will only be filled with a few really beautiful pieces and not cluttered with low quality products.
But also I think it’s important to give yourself a break, no one is perfect. Don’t give up on your journey just because you bought your organic yoghurt in a plastic tub – be realistic. Make the changes you can at the time that you can and forget the rest.
What is your favourite healthy meal for your family? (that Van will actually eat without whining!)

I must admit, I always go for quick easy meals these days since the arrival of Shep and a favourite kids cookbook of mine is Baby Pip Eats because they’re simple recipes, nutritious, plenty of ingredients can be substituted based on dietary requirements and Van actually eats them. One of our faves are the broccoli and potato hash browns (steamed broccoli and potato mashed together with grated nimbin natural cheese and spooned into patties and then fried in coconut oil. We pair these with another recipe of soba noodles, topped with a fried egg, chicken (tofu for me) and chia seeds – not sure who loves this more, Van or Dale haha!
What is your most loved non-toxic beauty tip?
Read the label – haha! It’s shocking but health and beauty products aren’t overly regulated in the market so just about ‘anything’ that can be in them. Find a couple of brands you’ve researched and really trust (maybe they’re vegan and/or only made from natural ingredients) and just stick to them, otherwise you’ll go mad. I made a decision to only shop for some specific products like toothpaste, deodorant etc. from one local wholefood store (where I do most groceries) because I trust their values and know that they only stock the most natural products available.
What is your ideal way to spend a Sunday?

Making something beautiful – a yummy treat for Van, an addition to the kid’s room like something to hang on the wall or a relaxing play space, changing up the furniture in our house or painting or building a new wooden toy for the kids.
And finally – how do you want to be remembered?

As someone that did their best to live simply and naturally for their family, the community and the environment! x

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Also in I'd love to have a minimalist, plastic free, stress free, noise free happy home! Here you might find some tips that I have used so far on my journey! (the noise part is not doing that well)


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