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Me and the garden is my dream

A green and vibrant yard is a relief to a tired soul. It’s a great stress-buster; whether you are working in there or simply looking at the evergreens or the blooming flowers from your window. Watching a vacant yard transform into a beautiful garden is also a matter of great pride for a gardener. Speaking from my experience, my husband is an avid gardener and no other gift could make his eyes lit up with interest as gardening gifts.

The specialty about gardening gifts is that they are ideal for every occasion – birthday, anniversary and holidays. Moreover, finding interesting garden gifts is quite easier as there is always a new gardening tool set or a gadget that a gardener would like to try. Let’s check out some ideas.


Green gift ideas for gardeners

For serious gardeners, selecting a better gardening tool set than a basic one would ensure a wonderful gardening experience. Apart from the usual tools, such tool set should contain a trowel (weeding and digging of dirt for planting plants), a garden fork (for loosening up soil and mixing compost), a garden cultivator (for cutting down weeds and aerating soil) and a weed cutter. However, while buying gardening tool set, check for aluminum or stainless steel body for long lasting, rust-free use. I prefer buying individual tool pieces and, then to bring in a personal touch,  present them in a beautiful home-made gardening tote. Of course, you can also buy gardening tote from local markets.

I have recently bought a hybrid composter and rain barrel for my husband, who loves gardening. Besides saving our garden space, the innovative dual-purpose hybrid composter and rain barrel is giving a whole new meaning to rain collection and composting. The clever idea working behind it is, once the compost is ready, the mineral-rich liquid from the composter flows into the rain barrel (placed directly beneath the composter). We are getting ready-to-use, nutrient-rich water for watering our garden!

Gardening is a healthy activity for young children. Instead of giving your child toys or other usual gifts, consider gifting him some interesting gardening magazines. Such gardening magazines should have colorful pictures and interesting articles to help him develop interest. As he starts showing interest, encourage him to take active participation in weeding or such simple tasks with easy-to-use, lightweight garden tools.

Gardening is a year-round hobby for everyone and almost every age. Perhaps, there is no other hobby that can change our world as beautifully as gardening can. In this respect, gardening is more than just a visual treat.

Recycling old bags

When it comes to picking your shopping bags, we usually make our choice between paper or plastic.  But how many of us know that by doing so we are contributing to already existing massive pollution level? Manufacturing of paper bags cause close to 75% more pollution than the manufacturing of plastic bags.  On top it, we end up losing millions of trees in the process. On the other hand, plastics bags are not a safe bet either. Recycling these bags causes minute particles and heavy metals to be released in the air which create a lot of health hazards. We needed a better option, and with the eco friendly totes, we have found that!

These Green shopping bags are made from various materials and can be plain or fancy, as you like it. The best part is that these eco friendly bags cause negligible impact on the environment. More commonly known as the reusable shopping totes, these bags are washable. Simply throw them in any load of cold water wash and they come out brand new!

The reusable shopping bags are trendier, better made and in vogue. Because they are handmade, they tend to be a little more expensive, but to make a fashion statement a few pennies here and there won’t really make a huge difference. These grocery bags look cool due to beautiful fabrics, prints, styles or the customization that you can add to them. I simply adore these eco friendly bags and love to flaunt them at various occasions. Here is how you can use these bags for different purposes and grab all the attention.

  1. The basic use of these bags is to get all your groceries. Due to the size and durability, they can stock up on a lot of stuff making it convenient and easy for you carry your grocery. As they can be washed, they will be clean from all the stains and be ready for your next departmental store visit.
  2. Reusable shopping bags made from reclaimed automobile seat belts look very chic and sexy. Each year millions of yards of seat belt webbing is discarded and the bags made from dyed pieces of these belts are very durable. They come in funky colors and are super strong. Carry them to the beach and you would love to see all the heads turn.
  3. Many of these bags come in beautiful colors with fabulous patterns on them. They look extremely casual and chic for an evening out with friends. I had purchased a set of five shopping totes for $ 40. These bags have geometrical patterns and they look extremely good with my casual dresses.
  4. These bags come in pouch styles too to hold your keys and coins and other such smaller stuff. Put these small pouches right inside your bigger bag and you will have all the little treasures in place.
  5. A good reusable tote makes up for a great picnic bag. With its huge size and durable material, you can stock just anything into it and carry it along for your short adventurous trip.

My skin care tips – Organic and green of course

Many of us face problems related to sun exposure. Moderate strength sunscreens such as earths almond aloe moisturizer with spf 15 could check premature wrinkles and sun burn. The presence of aloe and almond also help in retaining the skin moisture. For good result, apply the earths almond aloe moisturizer with spf 15 at least 20 minutes before going out.

Most of you might be aware that glowing skin can be achieved even at the comfort of your own home without spending big bucks. As homemade natural skin care works internally, it is wholesome in its approach. This means, it benefits the entire system including your skin. Also because homemade natural skin care products rely on easily available fresh fruits and vegetables, there is less chance of side effects than commercially available natural skin care products.

My 80-years-old granny has never gone to any beauty saloon, but still her glowing look can embarrass many younger women. Want to know, how? Let’s take a sneak-peak at some of her age-old recipes…

Top five natural skin care recipes

  • Carrot and honey are great exfoliators, effective on any skin type.  While honey is an excellent moisturizer, fresh organic carrot is rich in vitamins A, C and E. For this, finely grate a fresh carrot and mix it thoroughly with half a tablespoon of organic honey.  Smear the paste evenly on your skin before leaving it for about 15 minutes.  Now gently remove the dried mixture by washing with luke-warm water. For best result, repeat the treatment once every week.
  • Regular skin cleansing is very important for healthy and glowing skin. As children, we have seen our granny steaming her face twice every week before retiring to bed. Steaming opens up clogged pores and loosens debris trapped deep into the skin. For this, heat up some water and pour it into a bowl. Some fresh herbs such as mint can be added for a refreshing aroma. With a small towel over your head (to prevent the steam from escaping), steam your face for about 10 minutes while maintaining a safe distance from the bowl.
  • Applying a facial mask is great for skin tightening. Yogurt (a skin softener) and organic honey are considered a good mask for dry to oily skin. Mix one teaspoon of yogurt with a teaspoon of organic honey. You can also add a few drops of fresh lemon juice for excessively oily skin. Leave the mixture for about 15 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water. Gently pat dry your skin with a soft towel.
  • Drinking at least 8 full glasses of water everyday is important for retaining youthful skin. Water is necessary for normal skin hydration and in flushing out toxins from the system.
  • Another great skin care is drinking lukewarm water mixed with fresh lemon juice and honey, regularly first thing in the morning. Mix fresh juice of a lemon and a teaspoon of honey in a glass of lukewarm water. Being rich in vitamin C, lemon can promote collagen formation, while honey could retain natural moisture. Together, this could control wrinkles and black heads.

Why I recycled my old camera

Making money out of disposing has in recent days become fun. Not sure how to go about it? It means that you can now start filling your pockets with money and begin working on the savings figure in your bank account by recycling your old digital camera. Though this procedure has been introduced for quite sometime ago, it is a fine method of disposing off the old gadget in a safer way without affecting the planet Earth.

Recycling old digital cameras is the best way to get rid of the product without polluting the atmosphere. This method is useful when people do not know how they can do away with the old stuff. E-waste or Electronic waste is a major concern these days. Every year tons and tons of electronic waste including digital cameras cause a great threat to the life on earth.

E-waste is dangerous because once they reach the landfill sites, the toxins from the electronic components have a chance to enter in to the soil and also reach the water bodies thereby indirectly affecting human life and wild life. In case they reach the landfill sites, it takes hundreds of years for the digital camera to break down.

Various companies are now exclusively dealing with this method to safeguard the environment. By this method both the company and the public can be benefited. Company is benefited by reusing the old gadget or disposing it off safely and the public is benefited by earning cash in return for the old camera.

If you have decided to recycle the product, then the first step will be to search for the recycling website that offer cash or something different such as gift vouchers. Next step would be to search for your digital camera model in their website. Next, if you have decided to sell, then a price will be offered and if you agree with the offered price, then an account has to be set up with the website. Next, the company will send you a prepaid envelope for you to send the camera to the company. Once the company receives the digital camera, its model and descriptions will be checked. When the model matches their model on the website, cash will be sent either in the form of a cheque or by transferring in to the bank account. Some companies also offer gift vouchers instead of cash payment.

One main benefit of recycling digital camera is that you safely do away with the product thereby saving the environment from pollution and also by earning some extra cash. Hence, if you come across any old electronic item that is only fit for disposal, then do not ever forget to check for any company accepting those products for recycling. After all we are left with only one planet to live on. Therefore lets save earth in a safer way.

It’s true I want to save the planet

I read somewhere that leading a zero-waste lifestyle is not about buying recyclable products, but it is about minimizing waste. This got me into thinking and taking a closer look at my own life. I found many wasteful habits which, unknown to me, were hurting our planet. And this is what I did. I started with assessing my possessions, kept items essential to me and parted with the rest in a sustainable way. Since many of these wasteful habits are common, let’s take a look around to see where we are going wrong…

Top 5 wasteful habits

  • While we love our burgers, French fries and tacos, our habit of throwing fast-food paper bags, containers or super-sized hamburger wrappers without much regard are costing our planet dearly. Together, these are creating millions of pounds of solid wastes annually. Over-packaging of fast-food is also destroying our forests and endangering our natural bio-diversities. As consumers, we can bring down the huge waste by bringing our own eco-friendly reusable plastic containers such as pyrex containers for a take-home meal.
  • You can see cheap, easy-to-carry plastic grocery bags almost everywhere. They carry lunch boxes to our schools, clothes to our gyms, books to the libraries and even bring fruits and vegetables to our kitchens. They also clog our drains, create huge landfills and when they break down, they release toxic bits into our soils, rivers, lakes and oceans. Using eco friendly totes is undoubtedly a better way to handle the situation.
  • Do you know that dumping foods can also have a huge impact on our planet? After ending up in landfills, as food wastes rot, they release toxic methane gas into the atmosphere. The gas most often contributes to the green-house effect, unless we use it to power our homes and cities.
  • Water conservation is highly neglected at home. Fixing or replacing old leaky pipes with new ones within and outside our house or reducing shower time are just few of the measures we can take.
  • Also, keeping the refrigerator door open longer than it is necessary or using old household electrical appliances, such as air conditioning unit, not just increase our energy bill but also increase carbon footprint. To keep check on energy consumption, consider using energy efficient appliances.

Now that we know some of the measures we can take, are we up for it? The thing is, we are fast running out of time. If we wait further, I am afraid, very soon we will be left with no more option.

Green products

I have been looking for eco-friendly activities to keep my kids healthy and entertained during their summer vacation. Luckily for me, I chanced upon a great idea just a few days ago while browsing the net. And this is, planning an ‘eco’ road trip for my family. Since summer in the U.S. is usually sunny and pleasant, it is the perfect time to encourage our kids to bond with the nature while staying fit and healthy.

Summer is  the time to hit the road. So rather than driving, we have planned an eco friendly option with Pinarello FP2 carbon road bike. Since this will be our first road trip together, we would taste the water with a short, local trip. For this reason, the lightweight yet strong aluminum-frame Pinarello FP2 carbon road bike is our first choice. Riding on road bikes gives us the freedom to pull over and soak in every bit of our scenic surroundings wherever we want as well as a good workout. Undoubtedly, this will be a most rewarding experience for our children as we usually miss such things while driving.

This type of road trip also allows for opportunities to do fun activities. Perhaps we can go for an unscheduled early-morning jog to break the monotony or  decide to walk long distance exploring the beach or the town. Since jogging or walking does not create any pollution, it is eco-friendly. For this type of spur-of-the-moment activities, we are wearing comfortable Adidas climacool running shoes. Adidas climacool running shoes are known for lightweight cushioning, and excellent moisture control which is just what we need.

Other must-have items that we will be carrying are a couple of first-aid boxes for medical emergencies and sufficient reusable water bottles to keep us hydrated and eco friendly camping gear.

Traveling by bike is fun and is easy on our pocket, considering the high gas prices. It is also helps the environment by controlling global warming. Don’t let anything stop you from playing your part when there is so much to be done.

Why I love re-using old stuff – Green Thinking

Reusing old stuff is an age-old practice in countries like India and China. Nowadays, it is fast catching up in the U.S, thanks to our collective effort to ‘go green’ and avoid unnecessary wastage. Learning to reuse and recycle stuffs around our house is actually a very smart, yet simple way of living. And it really doesn’t make sense in throwing things away if we can still use them. It saves us big bucks, besides saving energy and fuel. You have to begin with some serious sorting out. This includes keeping old things which we can reuse and discarding others in a sustainable way.

Let’s check out some of the common reusable household items.

  • If you wear quality and long-lasting socks like Bridgedale socks, you are already saving money and resources. But when your Bridgedale socks get too worn out to wear, consider reusing such tough socks for protecting and storing your favorite fragile crystal or glass items. This practice is very practical if you are considering moving out. Not only this, socks can also be reused as cleaning rags to dry off your counters or wipe up spills.
  • If your Egyptian towel has developed holes in it, instead of throwing it out, cut it and reuse a few of the pieces as Egyptian wash cloth. A quality wash cloth such as an Egyptian wash cloth is ideal for gently removing the dead skin cells away. The rest of the pieces you can use separately as dish rags, car washing rags or for such other things. Old towels can also be useful as baby bibs while traveling.
  • One of the most popular and versatile kitchen items is glass jar. Apart from its most common use of storing food items, I reuse old glass jars (Mason jars) as candle holders by giving them a stained glass look. Besides enhancing our living room and bed rooms, they add to the special evenings I spend with my hubby. Depending on their sizes, empty glass jars are also excellent for storing utility items like buttons or ribbon or hardware pieces like nails or screws.
  • If you have old and worn-out carpets, instead of throwing them away, cut them and use the pieces as makeshift doormats in your laundry room or porch. You can also use them to kill weeds; just put it down in the affected area of your garden for some days. You won’t need any chemical herbicides.

Like any other habit, reusing old stuffs in a creative way takes a little getting used to. But once you get the hang of it, it becomes a part of your life. Give yourself a chance and life will teach you the rest.

But can you reuse old dog bags

Have you heard of biodegradable dog bags? Also known as the dog poop bags, these are the current choice of responsible and eco-conscious pet owners. This type of dog bags gives a greener, cleaner and healthier alternative than the old shovel and scoop method that many of us still use. Some people also find plastic bags very handy for disposing of dog wastes. But plastic bags aren’t an earth-friendly choice as they take years to decompose. In both the cases, the solution lies in using dog bags made of sustainable materials.

It is suggested that on an average, a dog produces 274 pounds of waste annually. Until recently, this held little significance. But with the discovery of high level of water pollution linked with dog poop, scientists are looking for quick and safe way to decompose dog wastes naturally. If not properly disposed, wastes like dog poop can mix with rain water and sip into storm sewers and eventually make its way into our waterways. Besides polluting our water, this can lead to many water-borne diseases.

Nowadays, many companies such as bio bags produce dog poop bags made of earth-friendly corn-based materials (cornstarch) or renewable plastics. They take very less time to decompose and return to the soil without causing much harm. Opting for dark colored dog poop bags such as black, red or purple could be just right if you don’t want to see the contents inside!

Next time your little puppy gives you hard time, remember to use biodegradable dog bags for a safer and cleaner environment. Looking for thoughtful gifts for eco-savvy dog owners? Consider giving useful doggy gifts such as dog toys, treats or grooming items in wonderful, biodegradable dog poop bags. Both the owner and pet would remember you for a long time.

Go green this season

Go green and get fresh

Want to buy fresh, organic food, but aren’t sure how to go about it? Make the local farmers market your weekly shopping destination. Of course, you can’t expect to find ladies leather checkbook purse wallets in this type of markets, but what you get is valuable,  nonetheless. You get to interact directly with the grower and know more about the food. You are also supporting local economy, apart from enjoying season’s produce straight from the field.

Tips to shop at your local farmers market
Following are some suggestions to make your weekly shopping successful:

  • Shop early: The early bird theory is very much applicable here. The choice of food you get as an early shopper will fast disappear as the day progresses. So, if you want to bite into the season’s first succulent peaches or organic berries, get there early.
  • Interact with the vendors/producers: The biggest advantage at local farmers market is that you can interact directly with the vendor-cum-producer and know more about the items. You could know what farming technique he adopts and depending on the personal rapport you have with him, may even get to visit his farm. This would help you to make informed choice so far buying food is concerned.
  • Be there late: You can’t expect the local farmers market to bit the price that other markets can give. However, if you are looking for attractive bargain and don’t mind left over, be there just before the market is closing. Who knows, you may still chance upon some yummy food at a great price! I remember someone who frequents local farmers market ten minutes before the closing time.
  • Take your own reusable shopping bags: While some vendors give flimsy plastic bags to carry shopping items, such bags are not eco-friendly and add to the landfill. On the other hand, reusable shopping bags are not just good for the environment, organic cotton or jute shopping bags are sturdy enough to carry food items.
  • Bring enough change: For quick purchase, it always helps to bring enough change (penny, nickel, dime or half dollar) with you.

There is nothing like popping a slice of mouth-watering peach with sun and wind caressing your face. Considering the bombardment of halogen lights in the supermarkets and mega-marts, this brings a much-needed relief and makes a weekend fun trip for the entire family.

Green summer holiday idea’s

Following an eco-friendly lifestyle isn’t always easy, but it certainly has its upsides. The immense satisfaction of being able to do our bit for a cleaner and greener environment is something which is truly rewarding. Opting for carpool instead of driving to work, turning off lights while going out are just few of the daily activities. But now that it is summer time, when most of us are planning our vacations, is it time to break out from the monotony of everyday routine life? Or is there any way we can enjoy a wonderful, guilt-free vacation while staying green? Let’s check out…

Eco summer travel guide

  • Eco friendly travel means being aware of and reducing our impact on the environment. While it is really exciting to fly halfway across the world to reach your travel destination(s), a much better choice could be to travel locally. For example, if you are a Canadian, a more sensible option is to first get a taste of Nova Scotia or Vancouver than visiting a far-flung country you don’t know exists. This not just helps in reducing aviation fuel consumption, but also injects money to the local economy.
  • Are you planning a family vacation to Fiji or Hawaii? A cost effective option could be to invest your money on a quality luggage set rather than buying luggage separately. Heys USA eco luggage set could be a smart choice if you are looking for easy maneuvering and durability . Being made of genuine recycled plastic, Heys USA eco luggage set is geared for eco-savvy travelers.
  • Instead of shuttling by seaplane or helicopter or renting a car or a taxi, consider availing public transport such as buses or trains wherever possible. Besides bringing down the fuel consumption, this could help the environment and your wallet.
  • Also, boarding air-conditioned tour buses or taking speed boats for local sight-seeing is common during summer. But the least expensive way to enjoy nature is to travel on foot or go swimming wearing an eco-friendly mask. However, don’t forget to take natural sunscreen with adequate SPF (ultraviolet) protection and reusable water bottles to stay sufficiently hydrated.
  • To consume less resource, consider having meals in cafes and restaurants frequented by locals. This way, you can support facilities/businesses which are of direct use to local people.
  • A swim dress is a great alternative to a one-piece suit; ideal for spending a lazy summer afternoon in the beach.  Go for a swim dress with plunging neckline, a U or a V-neck, if you want to flaunt a slimmer upper half.  But if you have narrow shoulders, opting for a halter-style swim dress  could make your shoulders look broader. If you are planning to chill out for longer sessions, don’t forget to do it under the protective shade of an umbrella. The last thing you want to worry about is sunburn.

This summer we are going for a week long ‘green’ vacation in Hawaii. Our 8-year-old daughter is so excited with the whole idea that she wants an eco-friendly birthday party next month!

My trip to Blagaj

Blagaj is a historic town located in the south-east of the river basin Mostar, Herzegovina-Neretva Canton in total national of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The area has characteristics Blagaj by the diversity on the ground and groundwater hydrology. Buna River is one of the largest and most beautiful place in the European Tour. Buna River is a clear demonstration of a river most underground limestone flows west about 9 km and the confluence with the river Neretva near the village of Buna.

Bunna River flowing from the cave beneath 200m high vertical cliff and blue creates a mix of sun and leaves skin beautiful. Natural beauty this place has mesmerized ruler of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey). He ordered the immediate construction of buildings Tekke, also known as the Islamic Dervish convent located next to the river Buna. Abbey was built for the Dervish sect gatherings and it also acts as a fact.

Architecture Tekke monastery oriental house attraction with striking bright colored, with one room upstairs and one in like a balcony above. All this is reflected on the surface of the deep blue river dreamily Buna. Today, buildings Blagaj Tekke is still one of the most mysterious places in the country Bosnia and Herzegovina, famous Sufi Muslim (Islam tantra, often understood as a mystical sect of Islam, appeared almost simultaneously with Muslims on the basis of neo-asceticism). The town of Blagaj European landscape paintings – 6 buildings Blagaj Tekke open to visitors year-round comfort.

Here there are restaurants serving cold drinks, tea and coffee Turkey in a beautiful garden overlooking the headwaters of the river Buna. Regions Blagaj is also famous for the variety of flora and some endemic species. At much lower under evergreen and deciduous shrubs. While at higher level, on the hill just sparse trees. Fertile arable land suitable for agriculture typical of the Mediterranean climate. Historic town’s remarkable ancient fortress Blagaj is located on the hill of Blagaj, is the home of the nobleman Stjepan Vukcic Herzegovinia region and also the birthplace of Queen Katarina -Kotromanic Kosaca of Bosnia region.

Fort was built on a limestone hill in Blagaj most prominent high and almost inaccessible because of height 310M on ink sea ​​water. Blagaj Old Town is one of the most important towns of the clan lands Kosaca (family clan medieval quarter of rule many lands in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 14 and 15 century) surrounded with fortified walls, with several peaks match and the tower that today the remaining ruins. In historical sources Blagaj old city first mentioned in 1423. In the time of Emperor Ottoman, Blagaj is an administrative area, and is divided into several adjacent areas, including the mosque 7, 7 factories, 4 guest houses, inns and 4 2 stone bridge on the river Buna. By the time Austria – Hungary, organic introduced Christianity to the region have a formal church building was built in 1893 and a Roman Catholic church was built in 1908.

This first settlement is located feet Blagaj fortress, where the road runs down from the fort and intersects with Nevesinje. There are too few trades in Blagaj area and this is just a typical agricultural environment, so in this early stage does not arise in an urban area. It was not until the late 15th century early 16th century, the new urban structure is shaped. Blagaj became a town of urban structure rural cum most valuable in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The town of Blagaj history is distinguished from other similar structures in the urban layout in Bosnia and Herzegovina today . Blagaj reached the pinnacle of evolution in the 15th and 16th century, the building was built of stone and reached the highest level.

Why I need to stop stopping and start blogging!

Over the last week, I have quietly and contentedly been extremely chuffed with myself for working up the nerve to get blogging. Publishing the first post was a rush of excitement and achievement, and I instantly started planning my next blog post.

This is not that post.

Neither were any of the other twenty six I have since started and then scrapped.
I’ve always talked to myself a lot and am the worlds worst over-thinker, and that is one of the reasons I wanted to blog in the first place (to hopefully quieten the ceaseless chatter of my busy little brain).  However, my inner voice has become the biggest, most foul mouthed critic of everything I type. I’ve found myself deleting a plethora of potential posts, primarily because they were just self indulgent drivel (or so the wee inside voice said).
I’ve worried that my only knowledge of the blogging world and how it works, amounts to – there is one, it’s bigger than I knew, and that I really don’t know how it works at all.  I’ve worried that simply reading a billion other blogs is not sufficient to be able to write my own.  I’ve worried that I don’t have the required netiquette,  that I am completely unqualified to just join in, and that I have nothing original to say (back to the potential for self indulgent drivel again), and, that ultimately, nobody would want to read it. (Neither a new or original notion that one, is it?)
After receiving a little feedback, it is an understatement to say I was ecstatic.  I was floored to have had any interaction at all, and it felt great. Other bloggers like 3d pens piped up to offer some support and encouragement, and I can’t thank them enough. What a lovely bunch, to just reach out and generate some cheer and good feeling, and it made such a positive difference to me.  I’ve obsessed thought it over a lot, and all of those concerns from the wee voice may be well founded, but, so what?
I got to thinking that, no, I don’t know what I’m doing particularly, but I can learn it as I go. I didn’t know what to do as a mum when I became one, but I learned, just like everybody else, and that’s a slightly bigger deal really.  I am working on taming the wee inner voice, or more accurately, training a louder inner voice to yell and sing over the top of the doubting whisper- to just do it anyway. When all is said and done, this is a blog and in the grand scale of things it’s really so incredibly small it’s hardly there at all, and on the little scale of things, it is just as it should be; my very own space to say what I want or feel or think, a place to share, to laugh, and to record memories and adventures, ups and downs, and I should stop overthinking it, right?  It’s all about perspective really.  Life is too short to be scared to do what you want, (especially if that is blogging, maybe not so much if what you want to do is perform Houdini style escapes from a straight-jacket, blindfolded, suspended by your feet, whilst popping your parachuting cherry, or anything crazy like that!).

And so after an emotional roller-coaster of a week, I am decidedly more committed to giving it as go. I will not promise that there won’t be any self indulgent drivel, because if you have read this far, you will note, that this is exactly that.  Last week, I jumped got in the blogging ‘pool’, and despite the fact I feel like I’m flailing around in a puddle, I’ve gotten my feet wet now, and I think I like it.

Summer is here!

Don’t you just love this time of year? The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and singing away, the washing is out on the line swaying in the warm, gentle breeze, and in the distance neighbours can be heard tending to and enjoying their gardens.

You may even have the opportunity to sit out and feel the sun on your face whilst sipping a delicious cold drink, and daydream about the upcoming school holidays. You, like me, will probably envisage all kinds of outings and adventures, picnics and hikes, play parks and ice creams, holidays and day trips, beaches and sunshine, smiling faces and long, laughter filled days. . .aaah, bliss.

As the school term draws to a close, I am filled with optimism for our summer holidays, excited by the endless possibilities, and think that the bare seven weeks just won’t be long enough to jam-pack full of ‘quality time’ family memories to treasure for ever.  Isn’t that what we are meant to do?

You see, the thing is, this few weeks when you can finally see the light at the end of the school term tunnel, you will invariably have to juggle even more crap than normal on your way towards it. The end of the school year, when you, like the jotters, are a tad frayed round the edges, will have a whole circus of year-end specific hoops to jump through; parties, disco’s, assemblies, sports days, presentations, graduations yadda yadda yadda.

You can see the light though, and you know that by the time your get the last day of term, its not just the kids, but every parent, that is READY for the holidays. So, ready.

The long stretch home

What sustains you through the dark school term tunnel on that last, most demanding stretch, is the much anticipated summer break; the glimmering prize of a glorious sunshiny summer. Sometimes, that’s even how it works out, Sometimes folks can get through the most part of the summer and do nothing but have idyllic days, make memories, and generally enjoy each others company. However, I think its more common that everybody goes at the summer holidays hoping to have Instagram worthy moments from sun up to sun down, when in reality, even with all the best of intentions, a million list of fun things to do, and near endless patience – nobody can get through seven weeks without a cross word, sulk, huff, stomp, tantrum, meltdown, eye roll, or hissy fit or grump. Nobody.

Kids and adults alike will all have their own moments of aargh from time to time, no matter what is going on. But then over the course of the summer you add in the heat (which we are not used to), the ever-present need for sun screen (which my monkeys hate), and as a result often get a grumpy child and a grumpy adult before you’ve set foot out of the door. Which is another thing, getting out the door; arranging for where to be going and when, then packing for everybody for every eventuality. Not the mention those oh so lovely picnics and packed lunches – if only they made themselves eh.

All I’m saying is, for us, despite the fact I love having the kids home and getting to hang out with them, long before the holidays are over The shine has kinda come off it a bit. There will have been those adorable loving moments like you see on social media, but there will also have been fighting, rowing, tantrums and whining. This is a certainty. It happens.

Not many have the picture perfect summer they dream of, but that’s OK too; real life is well, real, and life happens, but there is a lot of pressure on summer to perform as a season round here.  Its not ALL swings and roundabouts though.

Which is one of the reasons I’m quite happy in the tunnel for now, with a good view of the beautiful light at the end. Yes, I love this time of year, there’s so much to look forward to and be excited about, and I can enjoy the luxury of daydreaming about the promises of summer, in my peaceful garden,(soon to be infested with small people), in the quiet, (soon to be replaced by screaming, shouting, singing, laughing, crying etc), next to the clean, tidy house, (soon to become unrecognizable due to increased presence of small, noisy people who don’t like for anything to be inside of anything else, ever), while the kids are in school (set to be freed at the end of the tunnel).

Ah yes, the mixed bag that is summertime is out there. i can see it in the distance, and it is full of promise, but I like it here even better, in the joys of pre- summer!

Just jump in

So here I am then, in the blogging ‘pool’, so to speak. After much swithering, swinging wildly from ferocious determination to overwhelming nervousness, after a long drawn out time on this pendulum of uncertainty – I’ve gone and done it. I’ve created my blog.

I’m not really one for jumping in headfirst, (being as I’m actually a closet control freak), so I have thought long and hard about doing this for a long time. So long in fact, that instead of jumping in headfirst, I have lingered around and cautiously poked the water with a stick, then nervously swirled my pinky finger, eventually sticking a toe in, and finally, lowering myself in at glacier pace! Even after deciding to stop being so afraid and just do it, I have taken weeks to build up the nerve to actually post anything.

I’m a bit of an over-thinker, and although I’ve written and planned out countless blog posts in my mind, and decided that this is the tool I need in order to let those ideas / musings / observations out into the universe, it’s actually a bit daunting to do.

Nevertheless, having already committed months and months of my life to consideration of whether to blog or not, it’s done, decision made, action taken, words typed. I may have only slinked into the ‘pool’ rather than jumping headfirst, but, I’m in now. It has begun.