Getting Ready For Spring Gardening


Remember the article I referenced yesterday on how soil makes you happy?  Well, I decided to take the advice for myself.  Everyone needs to find a way to unwind.  And sometimes that way you unwind has to be practical or it goes undone.  My unwinding process, was to walk around in my yard for a bit and finally to look at my abandoned day lily bed.  I took a few moments to get rid of the dry brush left over from last spring to reveal the new life that has just begun to break through.  It felt good.  It was therapeutic.  And now I'm looking forward to actually fixing the bed for this spring season.  Did I mention that I felt better afterwards?

Isn't she a beauty?  Looking forward to adding some companions.
A co-worker thinned out her orange day lilies and they need a new home.


How Dirt Makes You Happy

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My brother introduced me to a new article via Facebook.  And to preface the article, he wrote this beautiful message.  I hope he doesn't mind me sharing:

This is really interesting. Ever since last year I have become interested in getting back to the land. I don't think I can become a farmer at 42 but I certainly would like a home on a large plot of land in the country to plant a large garden and perhaps have a few animals. When I was growing up we had both egg laying chickens and gamecocks on our property. My parents had a garden which had cabbage, collards, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash. I never needed an alarm clock because there was a rooster across the road that woke me up about 5:30 am every morning. Those were the good old days. My parents were school teachers so they had the summers free. Me and my sister Elisabeth had to shell peas and shuck corn in the summers. I also spent a summer or two with my maternal grandmother who made everything fresh and a lot of it came from her garden. So there is something to tilling the soil. The more humans discover the more ancient ways of existing makes sense. I think I have to get to gardening!
Here is the article he was referring to:  Antidepressant Microbes in Soil:  How Dirt Makes You Happy.

The article details how there are antidepressant microbes in the soil that give off a similar effect as medications like Prozac.  Gardening and working in the soil is therapeutic and aids in elevating symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, and bipolar disorders.

So, for those of you who garden, how do you feel?

Tea Cup Exchange {March 2015)

I recently participated in a Tea Cup Exchange, hosted by Stephanie of The Enchanting Rose.  I sent my package to my swap partner and patiently awaited for my mystery package to arrive from a different swap partner.  (To see what tea cup I sent, click here.)

I was immediately impressed with the packaging and continued to be blown away by the contents inside.  My package from Emily of Beauty of Holiness was a joy to open.  She took great care with all the details from the labels used on the outside package to how she wrapped each item inside.

Thank you again, Stephanie, for hosting yet another amazing tea swap.  And thank you, Emily for a fabulous package!

Now, no more words...just pictures!

Brilliant Non-Toxic Cleaning Products Recipes {Guest Post}

Brilliant Non-toxic Cleaning Products Recipes

Having perfectly clean home at any moment is the dream of every person. Of course, if it was possible to have your home cleaned without investing so much money in all these detergents and products, it would be more than perfect. Although some of them have proven their efficiency through the years, most of them still remain toxic, and in many cases, dangerous for your health. Whether or not you think eco-friendly is better, you can turn to other options, when it comes to the cleaning of your home.

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Choosing the green cleaning recipes made by you will save you a lot of money and will guarantee that your health won't be endangered in any way. Some strong detergents can even cause allergies to children or to people whose skin is more sensitive. For that reason, I advise you to forget for a while about the traditional methods for cleaning and focus your attention to  the following DIY ideas for non-toxic cleaning products. I guarantee that they are effective and easy to be prepared at home.

White Vinegar and Citrus Peels
For this green recipe you will need a jar which to fill with citrus peels. It is better to choose organic ones and to add undiluted white vinegar to them.  The solutions needs to stay for at least 4-5 days until it can be used. After it is  ready, you need to strain the vinegar and use it as a cleaner. This is an idea for DIY product for windows cleaning as well and for mopping of the floors. It is also suitable for disinfecting a wide range of surfaces.

The Perfect Cleaner For Your Oven
If you want to escape from traditional methods for the cleaning of your oven, I suggest to you this great idea. Supply yourself with baking soda and make a paste of it, adding a suitable amount of water. The paste could be made directly on the bottom of the oven and left there for at least a couple of hours. You will be amazed by the effect of the paste and you will definitely adore this chemical-free way to clean your oven. Easy and effective, isn't it?

Clean and Fresh Air with This DIY Air Freshener
If you have decided to freshen the air in your home in a completely natural way, here is one wonderful idea. You will need a saucepan in which to put the natural ingredients and a significant amount of water. Then you can add 1 sliced lemon, 2 or 3 tablespoons rosemary and in addition, if you like, a dash of vanilla to make the scent really pleasant. I assure you that this DIY home air freshener would appeal to all of your relatives and guests.

These are some of the interesting ideas for non-toxic cleaning products that are effective and easy to be made. Basically, for any type of DIY cleaning products you will need baking soda, white vinegar, borax, different essential oils and, in many cases, hydrogen peroxide. Make sure that you also have citrus peels and some fresh herbs, in case you have actually decided to forget about all the traditional and expensive methods for cleaning.

I hope that even if you are not a fan of the eco-friendly cleaning, you will try at least one of these wonderful ideas. It is never too late to be creative and to try different alternatives, when it comes to cleaning. This way you will preserve your health by getting rid of the chemical products and all the toxic substances used in a great part of the detergents offered on the market.

Author Bio: Anna W. Aamone works for Wimbledon cleaning carpets. As a professional cleaner she knows the downsides of the commercial cleaners and shares with you her favourite non-toxic cleaning recipes which are budget-friendly as well.

Monday's Feature: Mimsy Jewellery

Meet Mimsy of Mimsy Jewellery.

AE:  Who are you and what is it that you do/make?    
MJ:  My name is Mimsy.

I make jewellery from genuine gemstones. All of my designs are heavily influenced by nature and the philosophy and historical meanings of the gemstones that I use.

AE:  How did you get started/What is the motivation behind your work?  
MJ:  I've been a fan of Jewellery and gemstones for as long as I can remember. When I started making jewellery, I wanted to get it out into the world so that others could enjoy it, too. One of my top priorities is to offer reasonable prices, so that people whom would not usually be able to afford genuine gemstones will be able to treat themselves. I also hope that the philosophy behind my designs (which is listed publically in each Etsy listing) will bring upliftment to people. Another concept that lays at the heart of my work is a custom order jewellery project called "What's your story?" in which I want to express people's stories through the medium of gemstones.

AE:  Where can we find your work? 
AE:  What is your website/contact information? 

I am continuously inspired by the work of other artists and the "story" behind their passion.  Please stop by Mimsy's shop and check out her wonderful creations.   

Peace & Love,

How to Purge Sentimental your linen closet and beyond

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A long-time friend of mine came into town recently and officially introduced me to her two youngest kids - I remember them of course, but they really don't know me; the oldest does for sure.  So we got to talking about pictures.  I have pictures of all of her kids from birth on, but the question has always remained, what do you really do with all of those little wallet-sized photos of other people's kids, or students, or anyone else you met once upon a time who handed you a 2x3?

My friend mentioned that she had this "junk drawer" of sorts, that has been with her through every move; it's not organized, but all of those random photos are in there.  I realized that my issue is that I cannot complete a full category for those images so I often end up putting them in drawers, and bins, and boxes and sometimes a photo would make a random appearance while cleaning out a space.  There has to be a better way.

While I ponder the best storage solution for me (I've seriously thinking of her photo box idea, but with some type of subcategories yet to be labeled), but in the meantime I thought it would be helpful to provide tips on how to actually get rid of things that are sentimental to you.

The video below is my first attempt at purging my linen closet.  I will actually decorate/organize it at some point, but my first step was to

Now I just need to decorate and organize this space, but that's a challenge for another post...

Because I have this sentimental problem, I thought it best to share the words of someone who does a better job of purging - Kathryn, from Do It On a Dime.

I know some of you might be thinking, didn't she show us this video earlier this year?  And you would be correct, but sometimes we need to revisit those people that give us inspiration to do better.  And this is one of my choices for this spring cleaning season.

I need to do better.  I am going to do better.  How about you?

Out with the Old, or the too small...

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I've been at it again!  Sometimes I wonder just how can I possible have this much unused stuff in my home.  Funny thing is that sometime last year I looked over these same items and thought I would use it and I have not.  So, this past weekend, I literally drug every piece of clothing out out every nook and crannie and made a decision.

In the end I was left with a very modest amount of clothing.  And I do truly mean a modest amount.  Now, it feels odd that I don't have too many complete outfits.  I've always had a problems finding the right bottoms to match the easy-to-find tops, but at least now I can shop with intention.  Shop knowing that I really need something specific.

I did take 5 bags of clothes to a local donation center and I have a small pile that I will try to sell or consign.  And guess what?  I feel like I can breathe just a bit better.

When's the last time you cleaned your closets?

Home Spring Cleaning Tips by Room {Guest Post}

Home Spring Cleaning Tips by Room

House spring cleaning can be one pretty annoying chore for most, but without proper cleaning a home quickly deteriorates and turns into something problematic at best and a completely filthy nightmare at worst. You would do well to go through your home every week or so and see which rooms need to be cleaned in greater detail. The details may vary from place to place, but in most cases things will fall down the same similar routes and what they have to offer:

  • Kitchen cleaning
This requires quite a bit of effort even on the best of days, especially if you have a large family that requires a lot of cooking. Your refrigerator should be cleaned often enough to keep harmful bacteria and food scraps from accumulating inside. You need to remove its drawers and shelves, spring cleaning and washing them either in your dishwasher or by hand. You can do this by using a sponge with a mix of bleach and water, wiping them down and the fridge itself once they are clean. This will not only help you keep the area clean, but it will also allow you to sanitize it effectively as well, just remember to protect your hands from bleach by wearing rubber gloves while you clean.

  • Bedroom cleaning
Your bedroom will also need cleaning, but you will need to pay special attention to your bedding above all. It needs to be washed every two weeks in the worst cases, as it will collect dander and dust as you sleep in your bed, spreading it around every time you flap your covers or you jump on it. It needs to be completed often enough, especially if you have any allergies that affect your daily life, meaning you need to be diligent and keen in your duties cleaning it, as it is the place where you will be most vulnerable to dust.

  • Bathroom cleaning

   Bathrooms are also a location that needs special attention and a lot more spring cleaning than usual. They tend to collect quite a bit of problems if you ignore them, such as mold due to high moisture levels and caulk building around the shower heads and sinks. You can deal with both with a few easy solutions, such as white vinegar or lemon juice for caulk breakdown or a good antifungal cleaning solution, such as bleach, white vinegar, borax or other more commercial cleaners specifically made for this reason. Pay special attention to the floors, as they will often see a lot of hair and dander as well. They will need to be washed with great care often enough to eliminate the problem.

  • Hiring a cleaning company
If you think you simply don’t have the time to deal with all of this during your daily chores, you can get scheduled cleanings going on by contacting a professional cleaning company. They will handle carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, kitchen cleaning, and bathroom cleaning at a reasonable price. You will need to contact several companies before you can call it a day, so look for a solution ahead.

Article contributed by Ella Andrews on behalf of Carpet Cleaning services in Balham

Spring Cleaning Chore Checklist and Organizing Tasks {Guest Post}

Undoubtedly, the worst nightmare of every woman is the spring cleaning. No matter how long you postpone it, sooner or later you will have to organise your home and prepare yourself for this tedious and extensive cleaning. In order to finish faster, it is important to know the best methods for disinfection which will make the work easier for you. The good organisation should also play a role in the process and the best thing you can do is to make a list with all cleaning chores that you will have to perform. You have to keep in mind, though, that a task like the spring cleaning will probably take one whole day or even more, depending on the size of your home and the pollution which has collected in your property over the last months.

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The changing of the seasons is the best time to look into your kitchen and all other rooms in the house and take care of their deep disinfection. The beginning is always the hardest part and that is the main reason why so many women prefer to postpone the spring cleaning of their homes for as long as they can. This is not the best strategy and you certainly know it. The sooner you organise yourself and sanitise every space and object in your real estate property, the sooner you will be able to move on with your other important tasks. You can speed up the whole process by trying to organise all chores, starting with the hardest ones and leaving the easiest for the last. Here are the tips DomesticCleaners SW15 can offer you:

·      Make an inspection – You can start by making a quick inspection of your home, in order to determine which are the most pressing cleaning tasks. You can start with them later, while you still have a lot of energy to handle the tiring cleaning.

·      Find the best way to organise the tasks – Organising all cleaning chores won't be hard, as long as you know from where to start. For most people the disinfection of everything in the kitchen is the most tedious task because we all like to keep in the cabinets all sorts of items. The sanitation of the appliances will also probably take a lot of time. Therefore, it will be better to start with the cleaning of this room and then move to the bathroom and the other premises. You are free to organise the chores the way that is most suitable for you and your abilities.

·      Create your checklist – Once you are done with the organisation, it is time to write everything down. Whether you prefer to use a piece of paper or a modern app on your phone to create a checklist, it is important to have easy access to it at all times. Also, don't miss to write every little task, so that you can be sure that you won't miss something after all.

·      Prepare the necessary supplies – The last thing to do before you can start with the spring cleaning is to prepare the necessary supplies. Based on your checklist, you can decide immediately what products you will need for the completion of each chore. You can buy all the supplies in advance, so that you can be sure that you will have everything you need once you start with the spring cleaning.

With a good organisation and discipline you will be able to disinfect every place in your home for only one day. It is important not to get distracted by little things and postpone the procedure for another day. Once you are done with the spring cleaning, you will be able to relax for as long as you like and enjoy the great results of your hard work.

Author Bio: Anna Aamone shares her recommendations and tips on efficient organizing to help you all with decluttering and keeping your homes tidy. She works for Tenancy Cleaning Chiswick and maintaining a clean house is her number one priority.