Like most parents across the country, we are juggling the never-ending tasks of homeschooling, work and family life. This third lockdown has been tough on all of us (especially our NHS & care staff; no words can truly express our gratitude). Whilst the first lockdown seemed full of people taking up new hobbies and trying new things to keep busy, this lockdown has made me feel the need to take time to relax and slow down. Here are our favourite low waste, self care tips to do during lockdown.





1. Greenery & nature. Whether you take a walk in the park, or stare at the garden from the comfort of your home, looking at greenery can have a positive effect on your mental well being. I find tending to my indoor plants gives me a boost. I planted crocus bulbs in a pot last September and with hardly any care at all, they are starting to bloom, bringing me so much joy. If you want to start off your own indoor nirvana, ask around- your local facebook group, neighbours and friends will be happy to offload a cutting or plantlet for you to care for. Seeds are also an inexpensive way to start growing indoors- have you tried sprouting an avocado seed?


2. Mindful crafting. When it’s cold, dark and wet outside and you need a bit of me time, crafting is a great way to focus your mind and actively relax. Maud has been making a dent in her mending pile and I have taken up knitting again- not only do I enjoy the rhythmic movement of knitting, I love being able to wear something I’ve made myself, even if it turns out to be an uneven scarf! Baking is another craft activity I enjoy and sharing the treats with family is a great mental health boost. Here’s a link to our favourite No Knead bread recipe.



3. Gratitude journal or jar. As a family, we’ve started a gratitude sharing time during dinner. You could also start a gratitude journal- write 3-5 things a day that you are grateful for, it can be as simple or extensive as you like. It’s lovely to go through it when you need a perk-me-up. Another idea is to add little notes to a jar when you think of them throughout the day. You could combine this with family time- everyone can pick out notes and read them to each other.

My list today:

  • That my son slept soundly last night (meant that I got my sleep too!)

  • Spring starting to appear- I have a little fig tree that has a single leaf starting to unfurl.

  • Extra time to relax, as it’s my partner’s turn to cook dinner.

  • For technology that enables me to catch up with my Mum on videocall, even though she lives on the other side of the world.


4. Pampering. We don’t have a bath in our house and I miss being able to have a long relaxing soak! I am making do by enjoying a warm foot bath every now and then, especially great after a cold winter’s walk (Bonus- more eco-friendly as it uses up less water). To make it a bit more luxurious, I add a handful of oats and a couple of drops of lavender essential oil. The oats are great to soothe and moisturise the skin and the oil helps me to relax. Other pampering ideas include making a simple DIY face mask- try mashing a banana with a tablespoon of honey, apply on face. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes and rinse off well. Your skin will glow!



5. A cup of herbal tea. The kettle always seems to be boiling at our house, we can’t have enough tea! Although I drink black tea in the morning, I try to reduce my caffeine intake in the afternoons, by enjoying a cup of herbal tea. I grow mint on my windowsill and take a few sprigs, add a piece of dried orange peel, and let it steep for a few minutes. Sage, lemon balm, verbena and rosemary all make lovely teas. To really enjoy the tea, I ensure I have time to sit, smell the wonderful fragrance, feel the lovely warmth of the cup in my hand and take a careful first sip. It’s a moment of pure comfort, something that we all need right now.



Stay safe and take care. x Linda



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Updated: Jan 17



I meant to post this earlier this month but homeschooling and cooking nonstop (or so it feels with 5 people at home including a very hungry12 years old boy!!!).

So here we go, here some of our favourite creative ways to put our Christmas tree to good use:



Before you send your tree for recycling (if you haven’t, check local authorities for collecting points near you) keep a small branch or a cup full of needles.

You can 'steal' a branch from an abandoned kerbside Xmas tree or forage needles from one of London's many evergreen conifers.

1- Make pine infused cleaning vinegar. Perfect to use as all purpose cleaner! Place 2 small branches of pine in a large jar cover with white vinegar and let infuse for a week or two. Then fill a spray bottle half way with water, fill the rest with the pine vinegar and use to clean all around the house. It's totally worth it! The smell is really lovely! It kind of smells like pineapple ?!?


2- Infuse in oil to use in a diffuser or essential oil burner (see previous post to create an upcycled essential oil burner!)



3- Make a tea with the pine needle and use to fragrance your liquid soap solution.


4- If you are sure that your pine tree has not been sprayed with chemicals you can make a immune booster tincture full of vitamin C. Place needles in a small jar and cover with vodka and let them sit in a sunny spot for a couple of weeks. Shake every now and then to release oil from the needles. Strain the liquid and replace in the small jar. Take 5-15 drops a day for a month. Alternatively you can make a pine needle tea by infusing 1Tsp crushed needles for 3 min in boiling water.


5- If you are into candle making you can add the infused oil and some pine needles to your wax for a beautiful winter forest scented candle.



6- Make a decongesting pine and salt steam (again only in you know your pine is chemicals free)


7- Add Pine needles to salt for an invigorating foot bath salt!


8- Use as mulch on your garden or in planters. Acidic plants will particularly benefit, this might event deter cats and foxes!!!


If you are using pine needles in your cosmetics or natural remedies make sure you know what you are doing and where the pine is coming from. Never forage unless you are sure of what you are picking.


We love this article from Herbal Academy, great read if you want to learn more about Pine needles' benefits and uses.


If you want to learn more about Green Cleaning join our FREE online workshop on Thursday 28th January 2021- 8pm-9pm- Register HERE.


What do you do with your Christmas tree after the celebrations? Have you tried one of these DIYs?


x


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Hello and happy new year! We are back from our digital break! Maybe not as optimistic and as energised as we might have wanted but still excited to share some low waste and sustainable tips and inspirations with you this year!

For our first DIY of 2021 we wanted to show you how to make this upcycled essential oils burner.

It symbolises the light at the end of the tunnel and the importance of self care rituals during these hard times.

Burning essential oils can be a lovely way to relax and to naturally deodorise your home.

No need to buy a ceramic oil burner or a diffuser, you can upcycled a tin and use tea lights and a saucer.

You need:


-empty, clean tin (tomato or beans...)


-thin marker (to draw the opening before you cut, I didn’t... hence the wonky shape )


-metal cutter (I use my garden shears which I don’t recommend as it may damage them, but it did the job)


-small ceramic bowl or saucer (should fit nicely onto the tin)


-tea lights (I put one on top of the other to bring the flame closer to the plate.

Optional:


-sanding paper to sand the sharp edges


-spray paint if you wanted to change the tin’s colour.

If you have a tin opener remove the bottom of the tin. You don’t have to but the oil will burn better.

Draw and cut the opening, you may want to wear gardening gloves to prevent cuts, the tin’s raw edges are sharp.

Sand the sharp edges and spray paint if you want to.

Then place a tea light on top of a used one so it is isolated from the surface and a bit closer to the bottom of your saucer.

Add a few drops of essential oils of your choice to 1 tbsp of water in the saucer or small bowl.

Light the candle and enjoy the beautiful sent.

There is an essential oil to fit every mood, from energising lemon to comforting lavender. At the moment I really enjoy a mix of eucalyptus essential oil (now for sell in our shop) and our homemade pine needle infused oil (will share the recipe soon )

Who is also enjoying aromatherapy? Do you have other feel good rituals?

x




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