My IMAGE…

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Every month I look forward to my purchase of IMAGE magazine. I know, I am an Eco Goddess and should not purchase such an item. Fashion and Lifestyle magazines on a whole are symbol’s of luxury, over indulgence, consumerism, which are some points that I try to avoid and figure out ways to create change. So why do I purchase my IMAGE magazine each month….just wait, don’t judge and I will tell you why!

So firstly, I still struggle with grooming, fashion and image. I am a closet hippy who loves freedom, Wellington’s and fresh air. I hate confinement and the feeling of not being able to run in my outfit or wearing too tight a hairstyle or too much make-up. But, I have really BIG end gaol’s for my career in “Making it Cool to Care about the Environment” which is a pretty challenging job. I have learned really quickly that to have anyone take me seriously I need to be on top of EVERYTHING! My Image is everything and my target audience – the world, mostly don’t care about hippies who tie themselves to tree’s. People who have an innate sense of duty to care for our planet are in the minority, which is unfortunate, but that is not to say everyone else should just forget about it – we all share the Earth. That is why I have mapped out a route that will touch as many people I possibly can. IMAGE magazine helps me with My Image, but obviously I off set this purchase byย not buying take away coffee, I always drink on site or bring my own!!

Ok so point number 1 is the magazine it’s self isย fun, creative, and helps me pull items from my wardrobe that may represent the key trends that we find our selves in! I am a very busy working mother. Not to mention a work from home mother, so it is so easy for me to slip into the sloppy look, which will not do much for my image. I also do not shop very often, and when I do, I go for comfort, easy to keep fabrics, something that can be mine for quite some time and I also love second-hand stuff. Every once in a while – when the moon is high and I hear wolves calling in the distance ๐Ÿ˜‰ –ย I will go shopping and invest in a key piece that will make me smile and give me a confidence boost each and every time I put it on. For business or for fun this fashion item will last and it is at this time that it is useful to have my finger on the fashion pulse, thanks to IMAGE.

Point number 2 is the magazine is jam-packed with really interesting people. This helps me keep my networking file up to date. I know who the people are to target regarding any of my business plans and the best ways to contact them. As any business woman knows it really is “not what you know but who you know” and getting to that person directly is the best route to achieve results. My messages are very simple and I want to make it easy for everyone to feel that they can make a positive difference for the world so for me my business is important.

Point number 3 is one of the major points for me. I am sometimes guilty of looking after everyone else, the earth included – boy is that exhausting – and I forget about ME. A hard-working woman rarely gets praise as this would be pretty much every woman out there. This could take a while each day and we may disrupt the men – only joking with my male friends! So my IMAGE magazine lasts me the month and when I need to just stop, be still, I retreat to my cosy bed with a cup of tea and just relax, read, and recharge those massive batteries.

Wishing you all a great weekend! I will be digesting my magazine and hoping for some sunshine to start my veggie patch ๐Ÿ™‚

Gardening Tips that I have picked up along the way!

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I am still getting into the groove in my garden and have yet to start my vegetable garden, but over the last year here are a few tips that I have learned and really work!

“Don’t be afraid of moving plants around, if they don’t work, or if you don’t like them in a certain spot – move it! Most of my plants think they have wheels…” – Hillary from Tucked Away House, Grassington in Yorkshire Dales. Hillary really had a fab English country garden, see picture above. She gave great advice and really got me interested in raised beds and different bee friendly plants.

“Your garden should have different, interesting places to relax and unwind” – I cannot remember the website that I read this from, but it really helped when we were designing our garden. We wanted to maximize the sun that arrived in a few spots from morning to evening, front and back of our house. So we created paved and stoned areas so we can put up a small two-seater table for breakfast time sun, a bench for relaxing in the mid day sun and a dinning table and chairs for dinner time.

“Things want to grow” and “I kept an eye out and learned through trial and error.” – Joanna Madden, Lady of the Manor at Hilton Park, Clones, Co Monaghan. Taken from an interview in IMAGE magazine’s September 2013 issue page 169. ย What good advice, things do want to grow and all you have to do is keep an eye out!

Happy gardening, I hope you all get those green fingers dirty!

 

 

Orchid Lover.

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I Love Orchids and here are my top tips for keeping these oriental plants in pristine condition. This is my repotted version above. I had numerous plants that just didn’t look great when on their own as they bloomed at different times of the year, and then looked a bit stalky for the rest of the time. So what I did was bought a bag of orchid compost, found a really nice bowl shaped pot and replanted them. It worked a treat and my orchids have loved the company!! Now if you think that they look a bit stalky from the picture, I will tell you that these stalks have lots of buds just waiting to be born! And there was an accident that involved a really heavily blooming stalk and an elbow, lets just say the duct tape surgery didn’t work.

So my top tips are:

  1. Feed your orchids during their blooming time of year, I personally buy the Baby Bio brand but any brand will do.
  2. Find the perfect spot and they will thrive. These plants are from oriental climates and love heat and humidity but never direct sunlight. They would have lived under tree canopies and in around rocks and ferns.
  3. Moisture is a real no no for the Orchid. If you over water and leave them sitting in a pool then they will die. In their natural habitat they clung in and around rocks and soil. The water would have naturally drained away through the rocks so they just don’t cope well with a swamp!
  4. They do like company so if you have a few group them together or repot them like I did above.
  5. Give their leaves a bit of a dust every once and a while – its like orchid grooming, showing them you care!!
  6. Enjoy your beautiful, regal and amazing plant.

Lavender Bounty…turned into Lavender Bags!

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It is that time of year when you can really enjoy the fruits of your garden. All the hard work id paying off, well I hope!

One plant that I wouldn’t be without in my garden is Lavender! I love everything about it. It’s smell is relaxing and uplifting. It’s colour is beautiful and in a garden it is one of those bee loving plants – win win all round. I have a lavender and rosemary border and it is one of my favourite areas in my garden.

If you do have lavender it is time to cut it back and dry it out.ย I plan on making some cute lavender bags and giving them as gifts. One of my favourite books that contains so many fab sewing projects is ‘Sew’ by Cath Kidston.

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Sewing is a skill that comes in handy time and time again and I would urge those of you with young children to get them interested from a young age, you never know where it could lead them!

The Lavender Bag project can be found on page 64/65 of Cath Kidston’s ‘Sew’ – I would really recommend this book for all sewing abilities. I have put in a picture of the instructions for any of you who can make it out – give it a go ๐Ÿ™‚

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Sea Weed Dog Chews….woof!!

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My dogs love the beach, and it is lucky for us that we live very close to a number of lovely, if not very stony beaches. Recently, my husband and I transformed our back yard and we are now the proud owners of a large raised bed area. I plan on zoning this into 5 zones and hope to plant enough veggies for the family – not sure if I will have room, but I will find out soon enough!

Anyway, back to the dog chews – I walk the dogs on the beach nearly every morning in the hope that they will not dig up my new beds or wreck the place with their very boisterous play. The little one loves chewing and I often noted that she loved to have a little nibble on the dried seaweed that gets stranded and dried out on the upper beach. I got to thinking, ย and I investigated further. It turns out there these dried seaweed sticks are nutritious and beneficial, using them as dog chews when I needed to leave them alone for a few hours. The dogs love them and I now gather a few every time I go on a walk, to have enough in storage to throw a few out when I need to go somewhere.

They are free and nutritious. They have the same texture as the pigs ear chews you can buy, which kinda are expensive??

Anyway, if you have a dog, give it a go! I would love to hear how you get on…?

Phone Directories – Why waste the tree please opt out today!

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Yes I was hyperventilating this week, when I received my very large pack of items that I will NEVER use – the phone directory for my area and the golden pages. Tightly packed into plastic to keep the thousands that are dropped outside homes and might never even make it in the door. The packs also contain needless amounts of advertising – No I don’t want a new car insurance policy or SKY – I already have both and I can sort myself out thanks!!

But, then behind an advert lay a “Very Important” letter. Yes it actually was important as it contained the information needed to ‘opt out’ and no longer receive this useless piece of information. I would have thought it made more sense to send just one letter to each home in Ireland stating you have to opt in to receive a directory or even collect one from your local post office. I know the majority of people who will still rely on a directory will be the over 60’s and I appreciate that, but even then most 60 year old’s I know can use the computer aptly.

So I thought I would get going in my opt outed-ness and I logged onto www.phonebookoptout.ie. I thought it would be as simple as entering my address but no I had to create an account!!! So I did and it really wasn’t that bad I just kept thinking of the tree’s I would be saving.

Also apparently the reason we all receive a phone directory is to do with a European Communities Regulation 2003 to do with the Electronic Communications Networks and Services – bizarre to say the least?!