That Zen Feeling with #EcoverLaundry @Britmums @EcoverUK

Doing the laundry is a big part of my daily routine as Mother and Wife. After spending the last four years dealing with cloth nappies and all the associated wet clothing, my youngest child has finally potty trained and the load has lessened – mostly. We still have a few “accidents” while she is learning bladder control. It is easy to forget what a challenge our bodies face when we are growing. Finding the right laundry detergent is a big challenge when there are so many aspects to consider: is it suitable for sensitive skin? Does it smell nice and fresh? Is is environmentally friendly?

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Now it seems I have the answer. I was very excited to receive a new bottle of Non-Bio Concentrated Laundry Detergent from Ecover in the post last week. They have developed a new fragrance, Lavender and Sandalwood, and I love it! This morning I put our bed covers in the wash, and now my kitchen smells like an aromatherapy sanctuary. So the detergent had a dual purpose – it washed my clothes, and it makes everything smell beautiful. Bonus!

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So far I have tried my new detergent on the school uniform, and it seems to be working well. My elder daughter developed a little rash around her neck early last week, possibly a result of wearing her polo shirts and cardigans every day. It seems to have calmed down now, and I think it was assisted by the change in detergent, which left her school clothes feeling soft, smelling pretty, and evidently, not rubbing her sensitive skin.

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Ecover is a favoured brand for me and my husband because of its mission to work with Nature as much as possible. We prefer to use environmentally friendly household products wherever we can, and this sweet-smelling detergent could be the answer to our laundry quest. Now, I wonder if I may get some sheets on the washing line before it rains again…

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*This post is an entry for BritMums #EcoverLaundry Challenge, sponsored by Ecover. <ecover.co.uk >

 

 

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CLARKS ADULTS SANDAL SALE – Up to 50% Off

It has been a dreary start to the Autumn term, and there is definitely a chill in the air as the season turns. However, I have one last summer deal to share with you, and that is the Clarks adults sandal sale with up to 50% off. Perhaps you have a late season holiday booked, or you want to be super organised ready for next summer… well, take a look, and treat yourself. Have a lovely weekend!

Clarks Sandals Sale

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Is this the Death of the New Age Movement?

It seems that the world is in a state of transition once again. Does it ever really stand still? I am intrigued by the headline news that a once-revered figure in the New Age world has now renounced her previous work involving Tarot, fairies and fortune telling. Doreen Virtue has fully embraced her Christian religion, and is now wholly aligned with God and Jesus. I read a very interesting article on The Wild Hunt blog last week, and I find myself both a little bemused, and a little concerned about the messages being perpetuated by Doreen Virtue and her organisation.

Mermaid_Oracle_Cards

Doreen Virtue was a very influential teacher for me many years ago, when I first discovered Hay House and its authors. I began to collect Doreen Virtue’s Oracle card decks, I read her books, and I followed her meditations. I would even have signed up for her Angel Practitioner training course, if I had enough funds at the time. There must have been a reason why I did not pursue it… Now, I accept that throughout all of her teachings, Doreen Virtue has talked about God and the angels. I always knew that she was Christian, and that was fine. I come from a Christian background myself, so she offered comfort and guidance when I ventured into something that my family might consider “the dark arts.”

July_Angel_Oracle_Reading

Now it seems that Doreen Virtue is actively encouraging people to stop using Tarot cards, to rid themselves of her earlier books and card decks, and to embrace Christianity just like she has. That sounds very oppressive to me, and I do not feel a connection at all. But will I stop using my Doreen Virtue oracle cards? No. They were made at a time when she fully believed in what she was doing, or at least, she convinced me and millions of other people that she did, and I like to work with them on my own intuitive level. I will certainly never give up using Tarot cards, that’s for sure.

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Moving on from that story, we also heard the sad news that Louise Hay, founder of Hay House, has died at the ripe old age of 90. Although I never met her, I felt a kindred spirit connection to Louise Hay, as did so many other people all around the world. Her affirmations brought me out of many dark places, and her book You Can Heal Your Life remains the single most inspirational handbook on my bookshelf. I discovered her at a time when my life was dark and I was deeply unhappy, and she brought me out of it. I used Louise Hay’s affirmation and meditation techniques to release old hurts, refresh my Self, and for lots of self-healing.

Healing_Heart

Now that Louise Hay is gone, while her company remains huge and influential in the New Age world, I wonder if perhaps it is time for a change? We have moved on from those dark days when we needed a guiding light and a starting point. Many of us in the New Age world regularly practice meditation, affirmations and energy healing. Perhaps it is time for us to step up and become the teachers, now that our elders are moving on. Do you agree? Could I be a teacher?

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Back to School and Settling In

We have completed our first week back at school, and what a busy one it was! My children came home exhausted on Friday afternoon, but both were happy with their new teachers and to see their classmates again. My youngest daughter had an extra special treat when she was given the class mascot, Terry the T-Rex, to stay with us for the weekend. She was very pleased! Terry ate his meals with my girls, we took him to the local Roman festival where he helped the girls to make clay pots, and we took him to a birthday party where he saw his friend, Amy the Apatosaurus, from the other reception class. Cute!

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Terry helped us to shop in Tesco

I realised that now it is time to get busy again. Not only do I have reading diaries for both of my girls, but I have 2 activity books to work through each week, my elder daughter has a spellings book, and my younger daughter will be learning to read. I had to order a new printer from Amazon Prime on Friday, because we hadn’t quite got round to sorting it during the summer holidays. Whoops! It arrived on Saturday and we were able to print Terry’s photos from the weekend and put them into his scrapbook so that my daughter could share them with her friends.

HP Printer Amazon

And so begins a new chapter in our lives. My girls are growing up and learning even more new things. I now have more free time during the week days to devote to my Reiki studies, self-care, and of course, my writing. It feels good to have some space again if I am honest. I love my daughters far more than words can describe, but I also value my time. Now I can use my time to be productive in ways that leave me fulfilled, so that I can better care for my girls when they are at home. Have a lovely week, my friends!

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Book Review: Perilous Path A Writer’s Journey by S.C. Skillman

During the school summer holidays, I finally found time to catch up with my reading. I took a non-fiction book on holiday that I had been meaning to read for a few months, but never quite found the right time. It seems that Perilous Path: A Writer’s Journey, by S.C. Skillman, was waiting for a time when I was feeling out of the writing habit and needed a pick-me-up. It was great!

Perilous Path A Writers Journey

As an experienced writer, I found this book very enjoyable to read at a time when my writing practice had stalled. It inspired me to get back to work, and it reminded me of why I write, and what a wonderful process we engage in when we explore words and prose. This book is great for people at all levels in the writing world, being both entertaining and informative.

You can find more about S.C. Skillman and her books on her website, and she has a new release out this week: Mystical Circles.

Mystical Circles 9781999707309 Front Cover (Final)

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How I Contribute for #ZeroWasteWeek

Well, I suppose really I should not be contributing to Zero Waste Week, if you get my meaning! Have you heard of the challenge? Environmental waste management is a big deal in the Green household, because my husband is a Chartered Waste Manager. Therefore, he scrutinizes every item that we use, he monitors the products we buy (and refuses to purchase items with excessive, unrecyclable packaging), and he tries to encourage reuse as often as possible.

When I received the Zero Waste Week newsletter inviting us to do a waste audit, I decided that wasn’t really an issue for me. As a family of four, we dispose of just one black plastic bin-bag of general waste each fortnight. Our biggest waste challenge is plastic food containers and cardboard packaging, but we recycle almost all of it. But there is an area that I feel needs improvement. I am the only person in our household that eats salad, and I often throw out half a bag of the stuff because I cannot eat it quickly enough before it spoils and goes soggy.

Zero Waste Week

My solution to the salad issue is a little wild, quite literally. I like the idea of foraging for food, just like our ancient ancestors used to. I want to break free from the supermarkets, and find my own natural, vegetarian food. I just haven’t been brave enough, because from a young age I have been taught that anything growing wild could be poisonous, or carries germs, or is otherwise bad for me. That is a cultural issue, I believe. There are lots of green plants, berries and flowers growing alongside the canal and river in my hometown, and most of those contain edible components.

So here is my challenge, and this seems the best time of year to try it out, with Autumn fast approaching and all those winter fruits and berries beginning to ripen. I will seek out overgrown and little used places, and I will attempt to forage for foods that can accompany my meals. I’m not sure how successful I will be, or indeed when I will try it out, but that is my plan. Watch this space for updates!

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A Poem for my Little Girl #startingschool

Tomorrow is the day that my baby girl starts school. She will join her older sister, and I will be bereft. Here is a poem for my little limpet, my Georgina:

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She’s been here before, they told me,

She’s an old soul, that’s for sure.

My daughter is now a big girl

My baby is no more.

We had our last alone day,

No more Rhymetime and Soup Café,

Together Time is but a memory,

Where we sang and danced and played.

And now she is at Big School

Our life is moving on,

Her sister waits with open arms

And I am left, just Mum.

The baby years are gone now,

My girls are growing fast.

But Georgina, my baby you will always be

And happy memories lie in the past.

END

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20% off with LEGOLAND® Holidays!

Receive 20% off when you stay at the LEGOLAND® Resort Hotel or a nearby partner hotel on selected dates in September and October – including October half term!

legoland-wizard-castle-hotel-spookymrsgreen

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What is “Real Paganism” Anyway?

I recently read a blog post from a  pagan who was very keen to assert her practice of “real paganism.” Now, she professes that most people who identify as pagan don’t do it properly. By that she means they don’t get out in nature, they don’t truly appreciate or try to help Mother Earth, and all they do is buy into the consumerism from a capitalist society. At least, that is what I inferred from her article.

I must admit I found myself feeling rather irritated about her judgments. I come from the background of consumerist pagans. I like to surround myself with crystals, incense, singing bowls and other trinkets, because I use them in my spiritual practice. Does that mean I am not a real pagan? Absolutely not! I make time to sit out in nature, even if only in my back garden. I walk barefoot in the grass, on the beach, in the mud on some occasions.

Cloud Sky Tree SpookyMrsGreen

But I cannot get into a mine and carve out my very own piece of Quartz crystal, for example. I do not have the tools, the materials, or even the knowledge to create a singing bowl (unless I utilize a kitchen pot). And I do not know how to make incense or candles. I tried to make candles once. It did not go well. Besides, I would rather support small, independent businesses and allow those people to earn a living doing something they feel is fulfilling, while providing me with the items that I desire.

Being pagan is something that you feel inside, just like it is to identify as religious or non-religious according to your personal beliefs. I do believe that we all embark on a path of self-discovery and learning when we “come out” as pagan. Some of us identify as witches, warlocks, fairies, mermaids, shamans and any number of other mystical beings. It is our personal choice to purchase items that enhance our spiritual practise as we desire. After all, I believe that being pagan is about choosing to live in harmony with nature as much as possible, while feeling free to live life the way we want. What do you think?

crystal-meditation

I bought these tools – and I use them in meditation and practise

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Rockpools on Brancaster Beach @NationalTrust

Earlier this month, my family and I enjoyed a holiday in North Norfolk. We stayed in the beautiful, picturesque town of Wells-Next-The-Sea, and enjoyed walks along the seafront, days on the beach, and explored all sorts of hidden places and local nature reserves. There is something about the beach, and the sea, that brings peace. I have to holiday by the sea in order to feel that I have enjoyed a break. I mean, I love the countryside, but we are fortunate to live among some beautiful forest land and green spaces in Cheshire. I like to explore further afield.

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One day while on holiday, we visited Brancaster Beach. Owned by the National Trust, this hidden gem is absolutely gorgeous. You have a huge expanse of dry sand, then the wet sand when the tide retreats, and there is such an interesting mix of terrain to explore. We set up camp near the sand dunes, and my daughters and I set off to try and reach a shipwreck that we could see in the distance. A fellow beach visitor informed me that the boat was sunk on purpose for military training, but I haven’t yet explored that story further. Anyway, I was fascinated.

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We never got close to the shipwreck because we were concerned about the tide turning. And besides, we got a little bit distracted by rockpools. There were several sea pools dotted about on the beach, and we had fun wading and splashing in the warm water. We even splashed about with tiny little fish that scattered around our feet. Then we explored rock pools with crabs and seaweed. I picked up what I thought was an empty shell at one point, only to disturb a tiny little crab. We put it back down again very quickly! I loved the colours of shells, pebbles and rocks that lined these pools we found, and I loved the undulations in the sand. I loved all of it. And so did my girls. We will return to Brancaster Beach one day…

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