Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day

Yes I don't usually post in a Tuesday but as it was Earth Day I thought I would make an exception - if you don't know what Earth Day is Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It started in the 70's in fact a year before I was born - if you want to learn more click HERE

Anyway my family like to joke that I am a bit of a Hippy at heart - I recycled before it was compulsory, I like to grow my own veg and make my own yoghurt and try and do my bit to help the world in some small way.

Over the weekend I planted out my tomatoes seedling - it is not much but we try and help out the earth just a little.
We had grown all our seedling in recycled seed pots .

I collect the shells of my free-range eggs in the fridge (so if you open my fridge door and see a load of eggshells in a bag you now know why !! ) Tomato plants love eggs shells, you crush them up and fill the hole where you are planting your tomato plants with a couple of handfuls to give them a great start. Eggs shells are also good for putting around lettuce plants to stop slugs having a snack on them.

The other thing I like to do for my tomatoes is put in a homemade watering system - tomatoes have deep roots and need a lot of water, take and old plastic bottle pierce the bottle with holes dig into your bed between the plants and fill with water regularly if it is dry.

I also add compost from our compost pile which I have been lovingly cultivating for the last couple of years. 

If we are lucky in a few months we should have a crop of gorgeous organically grown tomatoes. 

And we can eat them knowing we reused, recycled and helped the earth a little :) 

How will you help the Earth today, let me know if you have any plans ?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Top 10 things that have helped me get organised

Welcome to Organising Mondays - today I am sharing the top 10 things I have implemented around the house which help keep things running smoothly. I have already told you about the control journal HERE and menu planning HERE - they are number one and two which feels a bit like cheating but I would be lying if I said they weren't.

3.The Linen Solution 

I found this one on Pinterest and I started using it last year. Basically what you do it store all your matching bed linen in the matching pillowcases - so in each pillowcase I have the quilt cover, the matching pillowcase and the sheets I use for that set. They are then stacked by size so queen sized - for the spare room , double - for  my daughters and king sized -for ours. All anyone needs to do is grab their bedding and go and the linen cupboard is neater as there is no more routing for things.

 4.Rolling Towels

I posted a nasty before picture of my linen cupboard on Facebook - yes I have no shame. And the great advice I was given was to roll my towels, it was a brilliant idea - my cupboard looks tidier and towels are easy to grab. Thank you my friends for that one.

5.The Boot and Shoe Box. 

I don't know about the rest of you but my teenagers seem unable to keep their shoes on when they enter the house and tripping over them became an all too frequent and sometimes painful event. Nagging wasn't working, so one day I took an old wooden vegetable crate and painted it cream, stamped the title and lined it with vinyl wrap, the Boot box was born and it lives in the downstairs bathroom/cloakroom. Even if the kids still forget occasionally,  I put all rounded-up shoes there so everyone knows where they are. And every so often if gets full someone is charged with bring it upstairs and returning shoes to their owners. 

6.The Bread and Snack Baskets

Once upon a time before the wonders of Pinterest all our bread products and snacks lived in a the cupboard with no form of organisation at all. I was sick and tired of it being a mess and baskets were the answer. The snacks are removed from their large packaging into individual servings, this has made lunch making so much easier the kids can take two things from the snack basket which contains , brioche, waffles, cereal bars, rice cakes, popcorn, trail mix. And they can pull out the bread basket to make sandwiches, wraps or rolls

7.The Baking cupboard 

I love to bake and I had my supplies in a cupboard which constantly would get into a state after a major baking session, I knew something had to be done I invested a bit of money and some time and the sorting of the baking cupboards began.

I brought the small baskets and the flour containers from a Euro shop and made up matching labels using old scrap-booking supplies but great labels are available Here at the World label site if you want to print them.

I have baskets for Decorations, Flavours, Cupcake cases and basic supplies.

Other containers were ones we already had or sterilised glass jars and sweet jars. It has made such a difference I was baking yesterday and the cupboard is still in one piece !!

8.The Laundry Baskets 

The one thing I can guarantee on in life is there is always laundry to do somewhere in my house and with two teenage girls it has grown exponentially and I love clean sheets what can I say. 
Anyway one of the things that helped was labelled laundry baskets in each room. Now laundry is sorted at source and I can easily but loads on, also doing at least one load a day helps. I put one on a morning, sometimes more during the day but the first one always goes on if nothing else - it keeps things from piling up.

9.The Slowcooker 

The best investment ever - I could wax lyrical about my slow cooker all day long, it gets used constantly because I can put a meal on in the morning on low and know it will be done for dinner no matter what happens during the day. Also it is cheap to run so no worries about it running up the bill. The recipes for it are endless and I have even made yoghurt in it. 

10,The Cleaning supplies box

 All the cleaning supplies are kept under the sink in the kitchen but I have a special box which has supplies for using around the house. All I have to do is grab the box head to the bathrooms ect and I have the supplies to do a quick clean up, it has Bathroom spray, Kitchen Spray, Bleach, window/glass cleaner, Fabric freshener and clean clothes and sponges. I plan on buying a special box like this one Here but for now this old toy box is doing a good job.

Are there any tips you have that are working well ?- please let me know and I hope the ones I have picked up can help others.