Frugal but effective spring cleaning for health and hygge

Even though winter hasn’t quite given up its hold where I live, spring is definitely starting to get the upper hand, which means it shouldn’t be long now before I can start on some proper spring cleaning.  As I’ve mentioned before I’ve been developing in increasing interest in natural cleaning but, up until recently, it’s always been mainly from an environmental perspective. Recently, however, I’ve been learning more and more about how natural cleaning not only helps the environment but also helps protect our health as well as making are homes feel nicer and saving us money.  So with spring (just about) here, I thought I’d share some tips on frugal but effective spring cleaning with an emphasis on protecting against (seasonal) allergies and irritations (bugs) as well as making your home a pleasanter place. To keep this post reasonably short, I’m only covering tips for cleaning tasks I think of as being specifically connected to spring cleaning, rather than all the cleaning tasks you c…

7 pollen-free house plants which are easy to grow, safe and which purify the air in your home

I must confess, I’m a house plant serial killer.The one and only plant I have ever managed to keep alive over the long term was a cactus.I got it from my gran when I was little and it sat for years on a shelf behind my toilet, until one day my cat decided it was in her way and sent it flying to the ground.It never recovered and I was gutted.Since then, my track record with house plants has essentially amounted to trying, failing and giving them to someone else before it’s too late.Then I’ve been able to watch as the half-dead plant recovered and thrived, proving, as if I there was ever any doubt, that there was nothing wrong with the plant, it was me.I’ve decided, however, that 2018 is going to be the year I finally (start to) learn to keep plants alive.
The reason I never really bothered that much about the fact that I’m useless at growing plants, is because up until recently I thought of them mainly as for decoration.I did know they helped to reduce carbon dioxide levels, but I had…

International Women's Day - TED Ten


The ultimate guide to peanut butter and what you need to know to make it yourself.

Where I live temperatures still say winter (right now it's pelting down snow), but there's enough light to let you know that spring is on the way.  That means right now a part of me still wants my winter comfort food and another part of me knows that I need to start shaping up for spring and beyond in every sense of the phrase.  This is the time of year when I really love peanut butter.  Contrary to the bad press it sometimes gets, it's one of the healthiest and most nutritious foods around and yet it's still comforting, plus it's really affordable and easy to find in most places, even in small towns like mine.  If you're one of the many people who's been misled by "diet gurus" and thinks peanut butter is one step short of junk food or even if you do think peanut butter is fairly healthy but aren't sure why, then let me spell out the facts for you so you can see the truth for yourself and then I'll give you a recipe for peanut butter itse…

Storing your winter clothes and boots - effectively and naturally

Today it’s the 21st of February, which means it’s still more than a month until spring really arrives in my neck of the woods (Scotland), but it also means that whatever way you look at it, we’re closer to the start of spring than the start of winter and while winter has its joys, I, for one, am looking forward to spring.  I’m even starting to look forward to the prospect of wrapping up winter items and freshening up for spring.  Although it’s still way too early to start packing away my thickest woolies, where I live snow in March is far from unusual, I can start planning it and I thought by sharing these tips now, I could help you to plan ahead.  So, here is my guide to storing winter clothes and boots effectively and naturally.
Step 1 - Declutter
I’m not going to go into the whole decluttering process, particularly since I already wrote a whole blog post on decluttering, but for the sake of completeness I’ll mention that now is a good time to be really honest about what it’s worth yo…

Hygge part 10 - three tips to create a feeling of sanctuary wherever you are

Spend a little time on the net and it probably won’t be too long before you find loads of articles on how to create a feeling of sanctuary in any given room in your home and, like much of what you see on the net, these articles vary in quality.  Some are very informative, others are just thinly-disguised adverts full of affiliate links.  Funnily enough, what I’ve noticed is that very few of them actually say what they think a sanctuary is.  Perhaps they think it’s obvious but if there’s one important lesson I’ve learned over the course of my life, it’s that what’s obvious to one person may not be at all obvious to another.  Perhaps they think, if need be, we can all look at a dictionary, which defines a sanctuary as a safe space.  Well my definition of a sanctuary is a bit different.  For me a sanctuary is a place which helps to promote positive thoughts and although it may well be easier to promote positivity when we feel safe than when we feel unsafe, if we’re honest, I’m sure we ca…

How to plan effectively part 1 - 8 actionable tips to get the best out of calendar, diary or other schedule and move towards planner peace

Calendars, diaries, schedules, they’ve been around for literally hundreds of years, if not thousands and on the face of it, using them is really simple.  Actually it is really simple, but like so much else in life, there’s a knack to it and even people who’ve been using schedules for years don’t always use them as effectively as they could.  With that in mind, here are 8 actionable tips to help you get the best out of your choice of scheduling tools.
Stick with one schedule
By one schedule I mean one digital schedule and one paper backup thereof (or vice versa).  There is only one you and you can only be in one place at one time so you only need one schedule.  If you try to use more than one schedule, you’ll probably wind up making your life a whole lot more complicated than it needs to be.  If you’re a paper person and you want to have a monthly view, a weekly view and a daily view of what you have coming up, that’s fine, just stick to one of each and have a clear process in place for …