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Monthly Archives: July 2013

Americana & Roots

If you like Bluegrass, Rocabilly or alt-country music, then grab your banjo, hop in your truck and drive to Greystones, Co Wicklow for the 4th Annual Americana & Roots Weekend.

You can listen to The Cujo Family – Dog gone crazy here.

Roots music has a very rural vibe which I love – there is a fashion following for roots that is very raw, hair braided or undone, loose clothing, boots! Straw, trucks, red barns, banjo’s, whisky, and of course denim….

Of course with every genre there is a style – even the very natural look has a forced element, a structure to conform some what!? But I love the rural-ness of it all. Thats why I think Greystones is the perfect place to hold an Americana and Roots Weekend.

The majority of events are FREE.

If you would like to find out more check out: 

www.rootsweekend.com

americanaweekend@gmail.com

Hope to see yoa’ll here!


Eabha and the horses

If you like horses or even just the smell of them,  make it your business to get to Dublin for the annual Dublin Horse Show. It opens on Wednesday the 7th of August and closed on Sunday 11th.

I took Eabha for our debut show last year and I enjoyed it immensely, as did my then 2 year old. She even got her picture taken with two beautiful Garda horses – which never fails  to make me laugh – out loud!!

There is so much horsy stuff to see – with different events and shows on at the one time, you will be spoilt for choice. For the fashionista who wants to win a rosette then the Blossom Hill Ladies Day will be right up your street on Thursday 8th. Check out all the information on the Dublin Horse Show website Here, where you can pre book your ticket. If the weather is anything like last week, then I will be packing up a big lunch and heading in at the dawn.

Here are a few pics I took at last year’s show:sidesadle

dhs white cobcowboycanter


keep the planet clean its not uranus

Funny how we forget –  just what a feat it is to spin around on an axis, let rain sleet and snow fall from the skies, have molten rock erupt from the center of the earth and produce beauty beyond compare – I am very attractive!! (ha ha) I mean more like the flora and fauna but when you think about it humans are pretty beautiful too.

But we all seem to forget the massive need to KISS this amazing EARTH’s BUTT more than we do. As a mother she is pretty amazing, don’t you think? And, it’s probably the only butt kissing that will have all positive effects.

Why not take a look at the ways you can make a difference in small steps and check out The Less Is More Challenge Facebook page. Or, check out My Waste Free Home – for ways you can reduce your utility bills and trash you send to landfill.


parkacademy

If you are living in Ireland you will be aware of the recent really bad press surrounding full-time crèche facilities. I was away when the Prime Time Investigates programme was aired on national TV, thank God I didn’t get to watch it, probably would have had nightmares. But, the reason why I am writing this blog is to highlight the positives and the totally personal choice around every families childcare options and the some times, tear your hair out juggling act that is “family life”.

I come from a stay at home mum of five situation, so full-time childcare was alien to me! My husband was in full-time childcare and had a positive attitude towards it – I must say, I didn’t. I actually couldn’t have thought of anything worse for my child, who was 1year 7months, when I made the decision to go to work part-time and had to find a child care option that worked for us all.

So, I got down to serious business and begun the task of finding my daughter a really good crèche – and that I did. The Park Academy Childcare was our choice because it turned out we knew some one working there and our visit to the crèche totally put my mind at ease. The staff are all so friendly and love children – an obvious trait for someone working with children, or you would think this obvious, but as we found out some facilities don’t hold this trait as paramount! But, it is the extra effort of the entire organisation, from the top down that really make this place special. Eabha is in part-time care so she really has the best of both worlds, the educational aspect of the crèche is superb and her social skills benefited greatly.

Another reason my I like The Park Academy so much is they get the children outside as much as possible – Wellington’s at the ready, with a big emphasis on messy play. They also recently opened a Nature kindergarten on the grounds of Killruddery House – which just so happens to be our most favourite place in the world! Outside cooking, nature trials, and just taking the woodland in is what it is all about – I hope to do another blog on the new Nature kindergarten soon to let you know more, they also do summer camps here so it might interest you.

Eabha is finishing up in The Park Academy soon and I will be said to say good-bye, but such is life, but I know when I need a full or part-time crèche again I will be back with bells on to The Park Academy! I just wish they had a facility for tired parents – suited to our needs entirely, I could do with a bit of messy play and a trip in the party bus 🙂

(Please note this is not an advert for The Park Academy, it is my view entirely. Childcare is a personal and important decision for parents and families and I do not wish to advise anyone on what is best for them or their children.)

 


TerraCycle Logo-green-vectornew

TerraCycle launched in Ireland in 2011, but I still am amazed that the Irish public has not yet grasped the concept, or even tried to turn their trash into cash? So, I feel it is my duty to create an awareness around this really great company that is leading the way in ‘eliminating the idea of waste’

TerraCycle was set up by CEO Tom Szaky – an idol of mine and an absolute genius. Tom originally made his name when studying at Princeton – he fed the dorm food waste to worms creating liquid and solid fertilizers and packaged the products using recycled plastic bottles collected on campus. TerraCycle in the USA, have gone on to develop recycling programmes for cigarette butts and, wait for it, dirty nappies/diapers!!

The process is simple, worldwide there are a huge number of products that can be recycled ranging from mobile phones, diapers, crisp wrappers, biscuit wrappers and baby wipe packets. In Ireland, there are only a select few recycling programmes (that are called brigades)  part because the uptake has been so low I guess? For each item returned you get 1cent that is credited to your account. You can spend the money on upcycled items that TerraCycle makes from the trash or you can donate the money to charity – and by the way a school is deemed a charity so it is a perfect way for schools to make extra money and also promote entrepreneurship amongst eager students wanting to make money.

The brands in Ireland are:

  1. McVities biscuit wrappers brigade (but any brand of biscuit wrapper can be sent back)
  2. Ella’s Kitchen pouches brigade (but any brand using the same container can be sent back)
  3. Johnson’s & Johnson’s Baby wipe pouches brigade (but again any type of pouch can be sent back)
  4. Old mobile phones (cash for each unit varies from 50cents to €2)

All you have to do is collect a bunch of wrappers, or get all of your friends and neighbours to help out, print off an An-Post postage label and send them off.

TerraCycle are one of the global brands that got behind my Less Is More Challenge for Earth Day and hope to get them into every school in Ireland for The Less is More Schools Challenge for Earth Day 2014. If you are a teacher or student in a school and would like to know more about The Less Is More Schools Challenge please email me at claire@clairelewis.ie.

I will also be setting up an account with TerraCycle to help with My Waste Free Home and have already started to collect biscuit wrappers, it just so helps that McVities Digestives are a favourite in our house – smothered in Nutella chocolate spread, I might add!!

So, come on Ireland lets show the world that we may be a small nation but we can recycle like no other – and it helps to get something back from it too!


theblogawards13

So I have been blogging for a year now and it feels like only yesterday I decided to take my Dyslexia self and see if I could write! I always loved nature and the environment but English wasn’t a strong point of mine – as you can probably make out from the bad grammar, spelling and punctuation! Not letting any one, any thing, or any stigma hold me back I decided this time last year to start my Claire Lewis Co Blog – Making it Cool to Care about the Environment! Not that I am cool but I wanted my age group of friends and beyond to start thinking about little things they can do to make a change for the better and make it cool to do so. You don’t have to make the peace sign, have dread’s or own a VW camper to care about the earth – if it is not innate it should be a learnt behaviour – similar to brushing your teeth, your momma thought you that didn’t she?!

So there are blogging competitions for bloggers like me, and the Irish version is coming up soon and, well it would be interesting to see what people thought about my blog? So if you have a free moment and if you have read my blog and liked it – please don’t be afraid to enter me into the Best Eco/Green Blog or any other categories you feel suit my blog. I would be very grateful indeed 🙂

Best Eco/Green Blog nominate here


ethics

I have begun to think that the term “Ethical” has become a word or concept that some fashion brands have latched onto because their PR department told them so!? With the down turn of the economy, the first thing to go from a persons budget is fashion clothing and accessories – similar to the axing of the marketing department…. And with other trends like upcycling, craft and design and the resurgence of DIY, fashion companies have to do something to stop the loss of foot fall.

The term ‘ethical’ basically means knowing what is right and wrong – well on a more philosophical level, as one persons view of what is right and what is wrong can be totally different. But with ethics it is a broad based view of how your decisions and actions will affect everything else. So when analyzing the history of how ethical fashion companies have been towards other humans, the environment and the profits from fashion – is it any wonder I am pondering just a little to their new found love for ethics?!!

This may seem very negative way of looking at something that can only be positive. Can a not so ethical in the past fashion company, make up for lost time and start to make change? Will fashion companies drop all the buzz words and again laugh all the way to the bank as soon as we are all foolish and loaded again!?? I am still the doubting Thomas in the corner but I do like second chances and I particularly like a change for the better, especially when people and the environment are the key beneficiaries 🙂

I see and compare the brands that have started off with Ethics at the core, giving back in what ever way they can to the large high street chains that have creamed it. Brands like TOMS who give a pair of shoes or glasses to a child for every pair you purchase. The items are also manufactured in a sustainable and ethical process.

What ever way I think My thoughts will be minuscule to the might of the large high street chains, but I am thrilled to see a positive change in what is an industry driven by wants and an insatiable consumer apatite for items they certainly do not need! But, I will also live in hope that my fellow human beings will begin to realize that “less is more” in the fashion department also.