Friday, October 25, 2019

List Of Gardening Chores To Complete Before Winter

These are my hastas, I have around four different varieties in back.

This cold can really sneak up on you, specially living in a Winter state. Here is Michigan temps have been in the low 50's, yesterday we had some sunlight so I decided it was time to prep the garden beds and yard for Winter. I wanted to share with you all, some Gardening 'chores' that I complete every year about this time.

I am a gardener, since about 6 years ago. I built my very own raised garden beds last year and will be adding in a additional two to the other side of home for next Spring. I love growing vegetables in these raised garden beds, such as: bell peppers, lettuces, radish, dill, thyme, cucumbers, peanuts, carrots, green beans etc. Additional to vegetables, I also grow flowers like: Lilies, morning glories, sunflowers, lilacs, wildflowers, hostas and zennias.

With fall being in full swing here in MI, cleanup will continue to happen for the next 2 weeks at least. Our home is backed against a wooded area and the leaves that are dumped into our yard are unreal!! First year I am considering a leaf mulcher to help cut yard cleanup time. I curated a simple easy list to help as a reminder or inspiration if needed.

You can see a Green lawn only because I'm mowing over all these leaves.

#1. Rake those leaves. Leaving leaves on your grass is bad news, specially if you care for your lawn. The leaves will kill your grass if left out. I rake and mow over all the leaves in my yard, by next week we will be knee deep in them. Its hard work, but I rid the lawn of them as well as the flower beds. You can however keep some leaves to use into your 'core' of your raised garden beds. I do this every year.

Rake up leaves...However I leave some to cover my herbs every year, kinda serves as a cover for them. I cut my herbs and lavender way back and then leave the leaves to cover the tops.

#2. Start pulling up your dead garden vegetables that did not make it through the first frost, or anything that you know won't make it through the Winter and continued cold. For me this day I pulled everything but my lettuces, one variety didn't seem to mind the two frosts we have already had so I left it to grow a little bigger before I completely pull. You can either keep what you pull and add it to a composer {if you have one} or if you don't have one just toss in the woods or in a Lowes/Home Depot leaf bag. Or you can chop it all up and add it back into your beads for nutrients. Totally up to you. 

#3 Have proper ways to dispose of all the dead flowers and vegetable plants. I buy these every year its what I prefer for pickup on Wednesday from a company that comes and just collects organic materials. You can buy these paper bags at any home improvement store. I also bought a shoot that slides into the bag so it doesn't collapse when adding things into it. I also go around my yard when cleaning and gather fallen tree branches and limbs and add those to the bags as well.

#4 unhook water hoses. I drained mine and tossed them away this year, I kept getting stubborn kinks in mine all Summer. Drove me nuts. They only last a few years before they start kinking every few feet. I'm on a mission to find a good hose that doesn't kind, is there such a thing? If so please drop a comment and recommend one! One other thing I wanted to add, I also cover the spout area with those Styrofoam covers. 

My oregano is on its third year of coming back!

#5. Trim back all your perennials. What is a perennial? Its the plants that will come back year after year. By cutting them back your lower your chances with diseases and pest. As well as protecting them from the cold and sparks a healthy new growth every Spring. 

#6. Clean out and organize the shed. Mine is a mess right now and on my list of this weekends projects I need to get done. There are leaves blown in it, 1 billion cobwebs and creepy crawly things. I like to empty it all out, knock down the webs, sweep it and organize the tools before closing it up for Winter. That way come Spring when I open those doors for the first time. It's clean, with that comes a great since or accomplishment

This is what mole tunnels look like, its raised dirt

#7. Take care of pests. Particularly for me this time of year its ground moles. I battle them pretty heavy every time this year they tunnel like crazy because food is becoming less of a source for them. Now is the time to get them under control before they get out of hand. Also a good time to seal up any holes/openings around your home that little field mice may try and get into to find warmth. I had to seal up under all my sinks last Winter because they were finding a way in. The colder it gets the more likely critters will try and seek warmth near your home. Some of these critters and carry disease and we don't want that near us. 

That's a pretty good list of things to accomplish before it gets to cold out, I have mine about 80% finished. You don't have to tackle it all in one weekend, break it up so its not so much work at one time. I hope this helps. Happy gardening.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Favorite Ways To Stay Healthy This Fall

Flu season is among us, school has started back and if you have children chances are one of them has already came home sick. I have always leaned on the holistic approaches to keeping us healthy, trying to avoid RX medicines, reserving those for only when nothing else seems to be helping. This includes leading up to getting sick, I believe prevention is key each Flu/cold season. I would love to share some of these things with you, specially now that its that time of year. I'm going to be honest with sometimes even doing all you can to prevent these icky germs to stay away, you can still get sick. I am in no way a doctor so if you have any concerns or doubts its always best too seek a professional. I'm just a mama, sharing some natural ways that have worked for us in the past.

#1 The very first prevention that I want to share, is the Flu shot. Yep I said it. It may not be for everyone and I get that, I totally respect that. I understand some people avoid it because they don't know what is in it, they think they get sick after it, or maybe your body reacts to it in a adverse way. I was one of these people that avoided it forever, literally I never had a flu shot till two years ago. But after nearly being hospitalized due to flu/pneumonia complications it changed my mind forever. You hear so many stories of people that literally die from the flu, not just the elderly and young but women and men my age! It was a eye opener after that time I got it. So every year I get one for myself and my son. I can say I have had not had the flu in years. When it comes to the flue shot, know the facts, know your options and always re-search first. I pulled some great info directly from the CDC here.

#2 Wash yours hands & often. No brainer right? Not to everyone. Like my teen son. Kids are
specially not in tune with this concept yet, hygiene and what our hands pick up on a daily basis. Keeping our hands washed through the day cuts that chance of you getting sick way back. So do it often!

#3 Elderberry Syrup. I have been hand making my own batches of elder berry syrup for many years now. The picture below is from one of my batches. I blogged a full DIY how to tutorial on how to make your own and where to go to get all the supplies here if your interested. They keep once made inside your fridge for months, it taste amazing and the benefits are from webmd: The berries and flowers of elderberry are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that may boost your immune system. They can help tame inflammation, lessen stress, and help protect your heart, too. Some experts recommend elderberry to help prevent and ease cold and flu symptoms.Jan 17, 2019

#4 Essential Oils. I am and always will be a firm believer in the power of natural pure essential oils. I am not a advocate or seller, I am a customer who has seen first hand the benefits of using oils in your life. With this said, I use Doterra oils, they are a trusted organically sourced company. This time of year there is one oil I tend to use over and over and that is called On Guard, its a blend that supports healthy immune function with cleansing properties. I can easily go through a entire bottle in one year. I choose to use ours specifically in our oil diffuser and in roller balls to put on our skin.

#5 Eat healthy. Nourish your body with beneficial foods that will help aid any intruders or bugs. Again, prevention before you get sick is key. Here is a short list of immune boosting foods that can help prevent cold and flu: Ginger tea, Oranges, water, yogurt, Blueberries, Salmon and tomatoes are just a few to name.

I hope some of these suggestions help aid you in your path to having a healthy year/season, let me know below in the comments.
What do you do to keep healthy for this time of the year? 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Blake's cider mill + pumpkin patch

More Fall, fun. Traditions mean a ton in my small circle, its something that I am raising my son to appreciate and understand in hopes that he latches on to these traditions and does the same for his family some day. Because truly building bonds, relationships is what our family is about. This weekend we visited a local Cider mill 'Blake's' here in Michigan, one of the more popular choices. We indulged in cider and donuts. I was over the moon excited about the cider because it is the first year they added Gluten Free donuts! Other wise it would have been just a glass of cider for me, but I got to indulge. We ended the day by picking out a pumpkin. What are some of your Fall traditions? 


Wednesday, October 9, 2019

birthday reflections, 39 things I have learned.

source, no this was not my cake..Yes I wish it was.

Its my 39th birthday today, I wanted to post something reflecting in that truth. So I made a list of 39 things I have learned in the 39 years I have been alive, words of wisdom/advice life lessons. No particular order, just brainstorming as I'm sitting here.

1. Never judge another, you have no idea what someone else is facing. Everyone's step through life is different, respect it. What is on the surface may not be what they are battling on the inside.
2. Go against the grain, DARE to be different. For the greater good of man kind, be that ONE that stands up/speaks up for the lesser. Be the one that separates yourself from the norm.
3. Set goals and stick to them, no matter how frightening it is. No matter how many people say you can't, do it. Don't look back and WISH you would have done that one thing.
4. Embrace change. Move forward, don't look back. Don't harbor regrets, you are not a tree. MOVE. Change directions in your life if you don't like it.
5. Find a purpose in life, what drives you? To be better, to want more for yourself or those you love. Find something that fulfills you to the core, your spirit. Lift yourself up.
6. Be silly, goofy and totally dorky. Because in those moments I feel like a child again and that feeling is simply amazing. Stay young at heart.
7. Just breathe. Simply breathe. This is where i am at at 39, reminders to simply just be. Affirmations to keep going, because when this age comes things start to almost feel redundant and life can take some heavy hits, sometimes one after the other.
8. Find a hobby and amerce yourself in it, for me its gardening. I love my hands in dirt, planting seeds, watering and harvesting the fruits of my labor. The motions of self discipline and care. Its rewarding and fulfilling
9. Stay active and find adventures, even if that means a bike ride around the block. Drink in the sun, spend time outdoors connecting with nature and admiring life's simplistic beauties.
10. Spend time with those you love, invite them into your life regularly. Build strong relationships and bonds.
11. Eat well, healthy and watch the changes in your body. Be aware of what is in your food and what you feeding your family. Read those labels and educate yourself.
12. Be a good parent, teach them how life works, steer them in the right light. Speak positive truths over them.
13. Be a kind human, do those things that society has forgotten. Don't expect anything back in return, just do it because its right. Pass that moral down. Teach the young this.
14. Have faith, trust God. Over and over he saved me from my darkest moments. Learn to trust in his will, no matter how scary its looking.
15. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes the burden is just to heavy, there are people out there that would gladly help if you just ask. This applies to anything in life.
16. Forgive. Yea, I said it. Forgive your biggest adversaries, the sins against you that cut the deepest. Forgive and move on so that you can heal proper. Its the only way to really move on.
17. You are stronger then you think. You posses a power in you that goes deep, a primal instinct to survive. Tap into that in your darkest moments.
18. Smile, a simple act takes less muscles then frowning and it makes you feel good. I smile at strangers all the time, you never know....Maybe that's the only smile they seen all day..week..
19. Surround yourself with positive people, learn what toxic looks like and stay far away. Wow did it take me awhile to learn this one, I no longer want to be part of groups that talk about other people. I want to be apart of a group that lifts each other up and does not label. Labeling is lame.
20. Love. Heal and try and love again. Love will come and go, just trust the flow.
21. Do something for you, something that makes you feel good on the inside.
22. Read a good book, find a quite place and let your mind take you to another place.
23. Celebrate small victories, these small victories are building blocks to the future.
24. Don't be afraid to show emotion, it does not mean you are weak. It shows you are human and feel. Some people lack this ability.
25. Let go of your frustration before you melt down, find a way to un-wind and defuse in a healthy manner.
26. Rest is everything. At the end of the day, lay your burdens down. Let go of all the things that try to run through your head and rest.
27. If you fail, try again and again. If you truly want something, go after it.
28. Be frugal, learn how to save money in life. It will makes things so much easier.
29. Be humble. Thankful for all good things, even if small blessings.
30. Find Peace. Find a place that clears your mind, allows for silence. Detach yourself from all things that do not bring peace, even if this means letting go of something/someone you love. Learn what brings you peace and indulge in it.
31. Self awareness, know what has shaped you to the person you are today. Know what steps it took to get there.
32. Break bad habits. Ones that are not particularly good for you.
33. Consume knowledge, you will never stop learning in life. So much of it is at our disposal, tap into it and learn something new.
34. Learn to love the little things. This is why I named my blog "Little things every day" because its these little things in life that lift me up and bring gratefulness. Appreciation to be alive. A breeze against my cheek, a beautiful orange leaf flowing to the ground, a butterfly landing on a leaf, my sons laughter from another room etc. little things.
35. Think before you speak, Lord help me I'm still learning this one. I am pretty blunt and sometimes I think I speak before really tasting the words on my lips.
36. You can't make everyone happy. No matter how hard you try some people will find fault in you, know that its ok. Its not you, truly its them.
37. Understand nothing lasts forever, all good things must come to a end.
38. Be fiercely independent, learn how to survive on your own. Learn to love yourself first. Learn to keep yourself good company and never depend on anyone else.
39. Be happy. Your alive, you made it another year. Gods speed.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Pinterest: Fall Mood Board

Because sharing is caring, I wanted to share my cherished "Fall" Pinterest board. I have such a strong love for art and photography, its been in my blood every since I can remember. I have such a appreciation for it, a special place in my heart.  So fall is my favorite season and I wanted to share my favorite Fall photos with you all. Get us all in the spirit of a new season and a new leaf being turned over. I have a TON more photos for fall if you interested to follow or pin away on my board here