If you’ve got a family, it’s only natural to want to be able to provide the best for them. It shouldn’t mean you’re just focusing on the present, as being able to provide for them in the future is equally important. Being eco-wise means, you’re doing all you can to ensure there is a planet and resources for future generations, not just your children and grandchildren. It just so happens that adopting more environmentally habits can also be a more budget-friendly option. If you involve your kids in what you’re doing, by the time they’re adults it’ll be second nature, making it much easier for them to pass on their eco-friendly habits to their kids. Here are some changes you can make for the better.

Be More Aware

Before you can make any changes, you need to be more aware of the way you lead your life and the resources you use. How do you heat your home, for example? Look closely at how you use water and how the products you buy were made. Being more aware of the resources you use allows you to look at ways of making changes.

Plant More Trees

Not only do trees give us fruit, but they also provide us with oxygen, clean the air, prevent the erosion of soil and provide shelter for animals and birds. Take a look in your garden and see whether you’ve got any room for some trees. If there’s room plant some and provide yourself with some shade to keep your home cool and help you reduce energy usage.

Conserve Water

A lot of energy is required to get your water supply to your home, and we’re also using far too much of it. There are various ways you can conserve water, but the best place to start is to repair any leaks. Taking shorter showers, and turning the tap off when you brush your teeth, recycling wastewater and collecting rainwater are just a few more examples.

Use Alternative Energy Sources

Have you thought about using alternative energy sources? There’s wind power, solar power, and a range of other more eco-friendly ways you can power your home. If you like the idea of solar panels, visit www.goingsolar.com to find out about home solar systems.

Grown Your Own or Buy Local

If you are aiming to reduce your carbon footprint, a good way to do it is to buy local produce. If you choose to buy products that were grown in your neighbourhood rather than shipped from far away, you’ll be supporting local producers, farms, and dairies. If you want to be even more eco-friendly, then grow some of your favourite fruit and veg in your own backyard.

Reduce, Reuse and Then Recycle

We’re all encouraged to recycle whenever we can, but before that, we should be thinking about reducing and reusing. You’ll make a far bigger impact if you’re able to reduce your consumption and reuse what you’ve got for other things.

These are just a few of the ways you can make a difference and secure the future of our planet for future generations.

I am going to try to ensure I count my blessings every week on my blog this year. It is always good to reflect on what is going well and all to easy to slip into negative thinking with the focus on things that are less than perfect.

1. We are getting more quality time as family after my planning exercise early in the New Year. Even if things don’t always happen according to the master plan because somebody is tired or whatever, the commitment to the quality time means that it does happen so much more. We had a tea out with my daughter on Monday and just took it in our stride when wraps were not available taking the opportunity to enjoy cake instead. We went for hot chocolate afterwards and I was thrilled that my timid daughter summoned up the courage to shake hands with two men.

My big one-on-one times with my new adult son consist of morning or late night debates on history and politics. We also get out every day for a walk in the forest with the dogs, cat and kittens. Whatever the weather, this is good for the soul and makes you realise other stuff can be left behind to get to when necessary if at all. Something tells me these walks will be very fond memories for him when he leaves me.I would like to think so anyway.

My younger son works best with me in the kitchen. We have cooked together including a brilliant cheesy chicken dish that was gorgeous and new to us. We also like to bake. Writing this makes me aware it is time we mixed it up for him so I will plan something new for us to enjoy together.

2. Home education is making pleasing progress and I think it almost inevitably will always be a work in progress as our interests and circumstances change. Perhaps that is OK and I should relax about it all more. I am reading about home education regularly now as it is good to have someone to hold your hand on what can be an emotionally wobbly journey.

French lessons are going well and if we get behind we just add in more the next day. I picked up some new books at a car boot sale including a huge book of French poetry from across the ages, one on conjugating verbs and one on fun maths challenges.

A clear-out of a cupboard is also revealing resources that I had forgotten we had. I want to stress less and enjoy more in our home education journey this year.

The other day with all the Brexit stuff going on it was so impressive to hear my children discussing politics and history with such knowledge and insight. It made me think we might be doing OK after all.

3. My disturbed nights of sleep made me very tired the other day. I even struggled to get out of bed. However, I am pleased to report that I have had two excellent nights of sleep and am hoping this is the start of a new chapter.

4. The weather seems to be getting a little warmer and we have lovely sunshine today. As soon as I got up today, I took the dog for a longer walk than usual and on my own. My lazy Beagle stayed in bed but came out with us later for the big forest walk. Warmer weather means we won’t need as many logs which is good as all saves the pennies.

5. The refugees charity got back to my husband and don so we just need to work out suitable dates for them to go and volunteer there.

6. Housework is happening. I am not making it a huge issue anymore. My drive to keep things spick and span ends up as just another battle I will lose so I will do it but try to keep in mind it does not define me. One thing that has gone really well is a decluttering exercise and a very cluttered cupboard is now looking more streamlined. I am working out that I can give some heirlooms away as the children do not want them so they simply stay gathering dust.

7. My husband and I rumble along. We have so many good times getting out and about. We went to a car boot type event on Sunday and bought very little apart from lovely ham and pate sandwiches and a chocolate mousse. We are having Scrabble nights which we both enjoy.

8. I need to develop my independence more. I might work up my way to going out on my own and perhaps should set that as a challenge for myself. In the depressive years, I got too co-dependent and that’s not healthy. I am pursuing my own interests more and am delighted that I have finished one novel and am well into another book so early in the year. I actually have two other books that I dip into too so all very good.

9. I got out to the bar on Friday. It was strangely quiet leading me to say it was about as exciting as an episode of Countryfile. It warmed up as me and my husband chatted away with me revealing apparently for the first time that I used to be an anchor man in tug of war at school. My husband commented how surprising that was as I was so slender back then. It’s true but I was called fat and ugly then and it remained my self-perception for so many years. These days I celebrate who I am more. It was good to end Friday with a man blowing a kiss and winking at me and I may have wiggled my generous bum as I passed another bloke.

10. Finally this week I count my blessings that I am still alive. I heard of the death of a college peer. It’s a wake-up call as these things always are to make the most of every day.

Wishing all my readers a lovely week ahead.

Musings Of A Tired Mummy


R2BC at Mummy from the Heart
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Confessions of a New Mummy

Cuddle Fairy

What’s Left Unsaid is a book I was asked to review by the author herself. It has taken me a while to post this review but I highly recommend that you read this superb novel. It covers the themes so many of us confront in a lifetime like different types of love, parenting, caring, substance abuse, sexuality and baby loss.

What’s Left Unsaid

I remember when I was pregnant with my first child how I told my husband we must never lie to that child. Although my family were amazing in many ways, there would be cover-ups of less palatable truths leading to confusion as I was growing up. Of course, truths usually will emerge often at the worst possible times or in the middle of family strife. Largely I have stuck to being honest with my children even on difficult topics and I hope this was the right thing to do. Even then there are 2 secrets of my own that I do not share.

The Characters

We have Sasha who a mum juggling work, parenting and caring for her elderly parent as so many of us do. Her son is a teenager with all that that entails. Her husband seems strangely disconnected from his family a lot of the time. Sasha’s mother is ageing fast and also has a long-standing issue with alcohol. A big player in the book is Sasha’s deceased father who has his say on events past and present along the way.

The plot

Sasha’s son wants his family to take part in a film project sharing their lives and memories. This inevitably opens us a can of worms as Sasha and her mother Annie are prompted to reflect on their current lives and what has gone before. Traumas are revealed including evacuation during the war, abuse, infidelities all of which fall into that category of what’s left unsaid. Secrets are revealed that will rock each of the characters’ worlds.

Why I loved the book

I liked the book immediately as it hit the ground running and was engaging from the start. As a mum to teenagers myself and someone who has cared for a parent, I could empathise easily with Sasha’s struggles. I loved how the  chapters are short and written from different character’s perspectives. I particularly enjoyed Sasha’s dead father’s input as he was at a distance and could take a perhaps more objective view. Also it felt that he had a wisdom that maybe only comes to us fully after death. I  enjoyed the big span across different decades and looking how characters are shaped by the historical and personal happenings in their lives. It was good to be reminded that when people act in a less ideal fashion it often is a result of terrible things happening to them in their past. Again these type of things are what’s left unsaid all too often.

Conclusion

I  cannot rate this novel highly enough. As I said to a friend, “This is a book I would love to have written myself”. I think that demonstrates that I would definitely give this particular read 10 out of 10.

https://www.whatsleftunsaid.co.uk/

 

Read With Me
Family Fever

Dear Polly

As you know I have never written to you, emailed you or texted you. We are not acquaintances or friends. Until recently, I knew so little about you and now you are dead I know so much more. How daft is that?

The other night when tired and clicking away on the Internet, I came across a list of deceased people from our college. I was not really taking much notice at all. There were deaths of old people born many decades ago.

You will remember that we were always identified by college by our matriculation year. 1987 – the year leapt out at me from the screen. That is your year and mine. I recognised a first name but not the surname but then again women often marry so names change. Mine has after all.

Within a couple of minutes I had confirmed what I had suspected. It was you and you are dead.

So what is the point of this post?

Shall I tell you what I remember about you? I recall a stunningly pretty girl with blond hair and a stylish air about her. Inevitably, I found that daunting always identifying then as the fat and ugly one. Add to that that you were from the South, seemingly had gone to a posh school and had a double-barrelled name and you were out of my league. So we would pass in front court and say “Hi” and that was I think all we ever said to each other.

Who is to say that you did not find me challenging too with my Northern accent, single-barrelled name and working class roots? I guess I will never know.

And that’s the point of this post really. I read your obituary in the Times. It struck me that we would have probably got on quite well. You are a writer and I do my best to be so too. You enjoyed a band that is seen as embarrassing these days but I love them too. You had done charity work so we could have bonded on experiences of volunteering and trying to help good causes.

Ironically you died with a single-barrelled name and I will die with a double-barrelled one. I have lived in the South many times now and some people would find me posh whilst some would find me the opposite. You married a man from the North. Life is indeed strange with its twists and turns.

I wish I had got to known you. How easily we reject others based on things that ultimately really don’t matter at all.

Rest peacefully and perhaps one day we can be shining stars up there together and say more that “Hi”.

 

Linked to A Blogging  Good Time

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Confessions of a New Mummy

Cuddle Fairy
Musings Of A Tired Mummy
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Twin Mummy and Daddy

Lucy At Home UK parenting blogger

Has the world actually woken up after the Christmas break? It feels very quiet as if people are indulging in another week of time off. I am sure that cannot be right but it is how it feels here. So whilst things are more relaxed that usual, I am happy to share cheerful New Year thoughts.

1. We managed to navigate troubles between my husband and myself that happened just before my birthday and Christmas. Peace has returned with my husband even talking about getting some counselling. He has also taken some pretty major actions to show his commitment to our relationship. Amusingly, if I had to state what has helped us get back on some sort of track from my point of view it would include chocolate pancakes, mulled wine and Scrabble games.

2. Also on the family front, I have insisted on us doing some planning to ensure all the family get quality time together and alone. It took probably only about 15 minutes to make a plan which means every day has something special and family-related in it. We have carved out time to ensure each of the children get one-on-one time with us. It’s working really well so far.

3.We have hit the ground running for our home education journey for 2019. We are doing daily French lessons. We have done quite a lot on statistics this week. I have combined my wish to meal plan which I never quite pull off with home education partly because my youngest son has such a desire to be in the kitchen and hopes to be a chef one day. We got a brilliant magazine with 70 recipes in it all of the frugal nature too on the spending front. I want financial management to be a big part of what the children learn because being money savvy makes such a difference to levels of happiness. So we put together a weekly meal plan and did a supermarket shop based on that. It means less food waste, more efficient spending and the fun of trying out new meals. Our time in the kitchen can include learning English, French, food history, mathematics, chemistry, biology and more no doubt. All very good stuff. Also it is lovely to bring our my late mum’s big mixing bowl. Yesterday we made a brilliant banana loaf and also some mug cakes using a kit my son got at Christmas. I am going to invest in some new workbooks too as I find these are so helpful as I can set work for my daughter to get on with and sit with my son as he works on his. They are individuals and I need to work to those individual needs and preferences.

4. I am having disturbed nights of sleep waking up more than usual and also having nightmares. The cheerful part of this is that it has made me realise how fortunate I am that I can choose when to get up so I can have lie-ins. When I do wake up, I am in an idyllic countryside setting. I have started walking the dog as soon as I get up whether he has already had a walk or not. It is good to get that dose of Vitamin D to set the day off with a happy soul.

5. My husband and older son are looking into volunteering with refugees. I think this will be great for both of them but particularly my son who has such a sense of social justice and needs to build his confidence up.

6. My daughter is her usual focused self. She was delighted with her Christmas present. She surprised me the other day at a café by saying she liked it because it was so open. I thought she would have preferred to have had more walls around her. It’s a good lesson to me to not assume what her needs are and to actually listen and learn. We also had a great tidy-up and decluttering session in her bedroom getting rid of so many clothes along the way.

7. My oldest son is in a good mood and feeling positive. He is excited at the prospect of a visit to Paris with old school friends later in the year. Even more wonderfully, he asked if I would like to come along too. How many 18 year old sons do that sort of thing?

8. In my usual attempt to become a domestic goddess, I am stressing about it less. I saw online that it is good to have one big task per day. This is helping with my planning and as a result housework gets done but is not as overwhelming to me. Also I do seem to be getting a little more help from the family.

9. Another big change here is that I am pretty much not putting the television on during the day. When I was made redundant many years ago now, I thought it was great to be able to spend the day watching telly. Years in and you realise it has become quite a negative habit. Effectively you can easily be watching other people’s lives or being told how to live yours by “experts” who know nothing of your situation. Isn’t it healthier to be living your own? I could even believe daytime telly is actually a strategy go keep women downtrodden, trapped and judging themselves adversely. Anyway, conspiracy theory aside, I am reading more, writing more, conversing more, walking more an feeling better as a result of this lifestyle change.

10. I remain happy in this amazing community I have found full of kindness, laughter and a willingness to make things work. After years of feeling anonymous, it is lovely to have found a place where it feels as if “everybody knows my name” to quote the Cheers song. Not only do they know it but they use it helping me work out that yes I do actually exist in my own right and I am OK.

That’s not a bad start to a brand New Year is it?


R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

Musings Of A Tired Mummy
Twin Mummy and Daddy

Lucy At Home UK parenting blogger

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My Random Musings
Musings Of A Tired Mummy