12 Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste

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Today’s blog post about reducing plastic waste came from a conversation with my granddaughter Aubrey.

As we watched a movie together this afternoon, she scrolled through photos online. Pausing the movie, she showed me one that halted her scrolling. An ocean bay, filled with thousands of water bottles and scraps of plastic, concerned her. Even more tragic were photos showing the devastating effects of plastics on marine life.

“What do we do?” Aubrey asked.

12 Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste Title Meme

What Do We Do to Reduce Plastic Waste?

I’m so glad she asked.

My immediate response was to point to my metal water bottle, resting on the ottoman in front of us. We stop buying one-use plastics, I told her. I explained that recently I stopped using plastic water bottles, straws, sandwich bags and other plastics that are used once and tossed.

Her questions, as our conversation continued, were great. She wondered what I did at restaurants, if offered a straw. I decline it or lay it aside on the table, unopened. At home I use metal straws and glass containers for filtered water poured from a Brita pitcher.

This 10 year old child and I talked about ways to reduce plastic waste and clean up our oceans. I shared what I am currently doing and what habits I intend to shift. She quickly grasped that even small actions create change, as more and more people become aware and join together .

Her curiosity even led to a discussion about living a plant based lifestyle and how that helps the planet. This is a decision she can make as she gets older. However, there are many things she and I…and all of us…can do now, to help make a difference and bring healing to our home, planet Earth.

Plastic Waste on the Beach

12 Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste

In 2018 more 38 million tons of plastic waste were generated in the US. Only 7% of that plastic found its way into recycling bins. Worldwide, 8 million metric tons of plastic waste, per year, ends up in our oceans. Need a visual of that enormous number? Imagine a huge garbage truck dumping a load of plastic into the ocean, every minute of every day.

One-use plastics especially, such as straws, water bottles and containers, are a huge problem. All that plastic is not just unsightly as it litters beaches and clogs inlets and bays. It’s destroying marine life and releasing toxins into the environment.

Here are 12 easy ways to begin reducing plastic waste:

Bring Your Own Shopping Bag

Most grocery stores offer the option of bringing your own cloth or reusable plastic shopping bags from home. Some stores, like Natural Grocers and Aldi’s don’t provide plastic shopping bags at all.

Use cardboard boxes or reusable shopping bags and bag up your own groceries. Take that practice one step further and bring your own reusable produce bags as well.

 


Click photo to order reusable mesh produce bags.

Stop Purchasing Products Containing Microplastics

Much of the plastic pollution in the ocean comes from microplastics. These are commonly added to consumer products such as toothpaste and face cleanser. The tiny beads are intended as exfoliators. Wastewater treatment facilities aren’t able to screen them out.

Instead, look for biodegradable alternatives. Avoid products with polypropylene or polyethylene on the ingredient lists.

Don’t Use Plastic Water Bottles

We’ve become so accustomed to the convenience of plastic bottles. However, these bottles are accumulating at an alarming rate in landfills and bodies of water. This is such an easy first step to take, in reducing plastic waste.

As an alternative, use metal water bottles. These come in a variety of sizes and colors, with loops for attaching to backpacks if desired. I’ve already become accustomed to carrying a metal water bottle with me and refilling it as needed. I even pour herbal teas into my bottle.

Similarly, carry a refillable coffee mug or thermos to coffee shops rather than using their disposable styrofoam cups.


Click photo to order stainless steel water bottles.

Purchase in Bulk

Much plastic waste occurs in the kitchen, as many foods come in plastic packaging that is tossed after opening. Consider buying foods such as rice, beans, nuts, cereals, pasta and spices in bulk. Bring your own containers to tote them home in.

Think Differently About Food Storage

Rather than using one-time use plastic storage bags consider using glass or reusable containers for storage. Pack lunches in bento boxes, with compartmentalized spaces. Use stackable glass bowls with lids for leftovers in the fridge. Even glass canning jars make great storage containers.

Try taking your own clean containers to restaurants for take home food. I’ve done this for Thai take out…and no one said a word. They simply used the container, returning it to me with my food to go.

There are a wealth of reusable storage containers and options other than  baggies and plastic wrap available for purchase.


Click photo to purchase reusable sandwich wrap.

Replace Disposable Razors

Instead of using plastic disposable razors, opt for razors that have replaceable blades.

Switch to Cloth Diapers

I know what you are thinking. However, cloth diapers have changed greatly in recent years. You don’t even need diaper pins, if you purchase one of the new self securing styles. And they come in a variety of fun designs and patterns.

If you’ve had babies and toddlers, you know how many disposable diapers end up in the trashcan in a day. The EPA estimates that 7.6 billion pounds of diapers are tossed yearly, in the US. Washable cloth diapers not only lessen waste, they save money too.


Click on photo above to order cloth diapers.

Refuse Plastic Cutlery

Use the real forks, knives and spoons at home, instead of plasticware. And in restaurants, refuse plastic cutlery when toting food home.

Stop Using Plastic Straws

At home, switch to metal or glass straws, if you want to use them. I have a set of metal straws that I sometimes use when drinking smoothies or cold lemon/lime water. My set came with a tiny bottle-style brush for easy cleaning.

In restaurants, refuse plastic straws. Sip directly out of the glass. This practice has been easy for me to adopt. I drink water anyway in restaurants, on the rare occasions that I eat out. And now I don’t use a straw.


Click on photo to order metal straws.

Purchase Second Hand Items

Most toys, electronic gadgets and household items come packaged in plastic. Purchasing these things through second hand stores, flea markets and yard sales saves money and reduces plastic waste. And don’t you hate opening those bulky plastic packages anyway? They often require a knife or a pair of scissors, just to get them open.

Travel Without Plastics

With an international trip coming up next month, my granddaughter and I discussed what I could do about the required quart sized plastic bag that TSA requires for toiletries. You know the rule. All 3.4 ounce containers, or smaller, must be in a clear quart sized bag, one bag per traveler.

I looked on Amazon, under TSA Approved Clear Quart Sized Travel Bags. And….there are alternatives! You know I’ll be purchasing these. I can’t wait to tell Aubrey. And the two piece set below means I can give the other one to my sister to use.


Click photo to order TSA approved clear travel bags.

Support Companies Using Ecological Packaging

More and more companies are making ecologically sound choices when it comes to packaging. Look for those companies and support them by purchasing their products. Those actions send a strong message as well to the companies who are packaging with plastics.

Here are a few brands to get you started:

Seed Phytonutrients – This company packages clean and natural hair, face and body products in shower-friendly paper bottles.

Plaine Products – Purchase bath and body products that are packaged in aluminum bottles. Plus the company offers a refill program.

PAPELYCO – This company supplies plantable paper plates…which is so very cool…and green. After use, place the plate in the ground and a plant grows out of it!

One Step at a Time

I hope you found at least one action that you can take, to reduce plastic waste. I am continuing to adopt new practices and do research.

As I drove to Subway, so Aubrey could get a sandwich, we continued our discussion about making a difference and reducing plastic use. She even declared, with a great deal of zeal, that at some point in her life, she would shift her eating habits and become plant based.

“I’m going to become a vege-freaking-tarian!”  Aubrey

I love that girl’s fire and spirit! Plus, she makes me laugh.

She makes me proud too.

At Subway she ordered a plain sandwich, a bag of chips and a small cup of water…NO STRAW.

That’s my girl.

Reduce Plastic Waste in Our Oceans

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We Carry Kevan Book Review

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Thank you to SMITH PUBLICITY, INC for sending me this book, We Carry Kevan, for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

 

Image developing, at age 29,  the intense desire to travel and explore the world with close friends.

And imagine, after a year of planning, fund raising and making arrangements in France, England and Ireland, seeing that dream become reality.

A group of seven friends parked their van at the airport and gathered up their gear, ready to depart on the adventure of a lifetime. One item they deliberately left behind…a wheelchair belonging to Kevan Chandler.

We Carry Kevan Book Review

 

Kevan Chandler

Born with a degenerative neuromuscular disease, Kevan is the youngest of three children born to Peter and Diana Chandler. And, he’s the second in his family with spinal muscular atrophy, a rare form of muscular dystrophy.

His muscles grow weaker, as he ages, and he has very limited use of his arms and legs. However, Kevan is not limited in the way he lives his life. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in counseling and he is an avid writer and storyteller.

Kevan’s compassionate  heart and big personality draw people to him.  He  often joins friends for dinners, road trips or spur of the moment parties.

And Kevan dreams big dreams. One wistful idea, of traveling in Europe, met with encouragement and enthusiasm from his friends. In the summer of 2016 Kevan spent three weeks fulfilling his dream by vising three countries with six friends, without the aid of his motorized wheelchair.

Riding in a custom made backpack, Kevan’s friends carried him everywhere they went, including to the peak of an island mountain in Ireland. We Carry Kevan is the story of a shared adventure, yes. However, it is primarily a story of faith, trust and incredible friendship.

We Carry Kevan Book ReviewParis, France. Photo from We Carry Kevan book.

We Carry Kevan in Paris France

The friends arrived in Paris, France on June 20, 2016 in time for summer solstice celebrations the next night. They quickly discovered that the people of Paris go all out when they celebrate, with music and singing and dancing in the streets.

And music is what drew Kevan to Paris in the first place. His desire to visit the home of jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt became reality when the group attended a festival honoring the musician.

Kevan feels a connection to the guitarist, who lost the use of his ring and pinky fingers on his left hand after an accident. And yet that didn’t stop the musical genius from adapting. He emerged stronger and better, becoming one of the greatest known guitarists.

We Carry Kevan Book ReviewLondon, England. Photo from We Carry Kevan book.

We Carry Kevan in London

London offered the opportunity for Kevan and his friends, Ben, Tom, Phillip, Luke, Robbie and Mr. Hill, to meet up with online friends.

As the group planned their trip, people from the countries they intended to visit provided places to stay and acted as tour guides. From the small town of Oxted, the friends returned to London to mark Kensington Gardens off the “must visit” list.

While in London, Kevan seized the opportunity to stop by the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital and view the Peter Pan statue in Kensington. Author J.M. Barrie, who wrote Peter Pan and made contributions to the children’s hospital, inspires the storyteller within Kevan. Standing where the author once stood, as he perched on the back of a friend, Kevan considered the great legacy Barrie left behind, and pondered what his own might be.

We Carry Kevan Book ReviewSkellig Michael, Ireland. Photo from We Carry Kevan book.

We Carry Kevan in Ireland

Finally the friends explored Ireland. Although they traveled throughout the country, their ultimate destination was Skellig Michael, a craggy island in County Kerry. Known for its rugged and stark beauty, Skellig Michael is the tip of a mountain jutting up from the ocean. An ancient monastery rests at the peak, which is accessible by climbing 600 stone steps.

Scaling the island mountain marked the pinnacle, literally, of the trip and presented the greatest challenge for those carrying Kevan on their backs. And yet, the men trained and prepared themselves, physically and mentally, for this very challenge. Up the mountain they went, to the very top. Taking turns carrying Kevan as they climbed, they ascended and descended, to the applause of others visiting the site.

Here is where the love of his traveling companions shone so brilliantly. About the unconditional love of friends, Kevan wrote:

“They were driven unexplainably to carry me, literally, through the impossible. Not because I’m cool or because I’m an inspiration to them, but because of a true love beyond themselves, beyond any of us. And this put us on a wonderful adventure across the known world.”

Be Inspired

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Authored by Kevan, the story moves expertly through the grand adventure shared by this amazing group of friends. He writes honesty and openly about his disabilities, with a style that is imaginative and compelling.

I felt humbled by all that these young men accomplished and deeply moved by the compassion and trust that the group shares. Kevan requires assistance for everything…bathing, brushing his teeth, using the bathroom, getting dressed. And yet, he is definitely not a burden. Kevan is a courageous and bright adventurer with extraordinary friends who care for him and offer their very best…and their backs…to make his dreams come true.

Together they saw the world, says Kevan, as we all are meant to see it…big and beautiful and full of life. After their first trip, Kevan  started a nonprofit organization to redefine accessibility and to assist other disabled people in fulfilling their adventures. Check it out HERE.

I’m inspired to continue my travels, and see the world the way Kevan sees it. I feel renewed gratitude for my left knee. Although it sometimes falters, my knee does the very best that it can, to take me where I desire to go. And, I see what Kevan does, moving beyond his comfort zone, on so many levels, to manifest his dreams.  I know I can do the same.

Grab this book and settle into your favorite chair, with a cup of herbal tea. And prepare to be inspired as well.

We Carry Kevan Book Review

Order your copy of We Carry Kevan by clicking on photo link below:

 


 

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Movie Review: Rocketman

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

While still enjoying the film Bohemian Rhapsody at the theater, the preview of an upcoming movie intrigued me as well.

Another music biopic, Rocketman tells singer Elton John’s story. Every time I saw the preview, I felt drawn to this powerful film.

Movie Review Rocketman

 Rocketman Cast

Rocketman stars Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard, Gemma Jones, Steven Mackintosh, Matthew Illesley and Kit Connor. Directed by Dexter Fletcher, Rocketman carries an R rating for moderate language, the portrayal of drug and alcohol use and moderate sexuality. It has a run time of 2 hours and 1 minute.

The Early Years

The film alternates between the present day, where Elton John (Egerton) appears to be in a group counseling session, and the past. The story is woven together as the present day singer recounts his childhood and rise to stardom.

Born Reginald Dwight, Reggie (Illesley) is a quiet child raised by troubled parents. His mostly absent father, Stanley (Mackintosh), passes his appreciation of music on to his young son. However, he cannot connect with Reggie emotionally. In fact, he refuses to hug his son or express love in any way.

Reggie’s mother Sheila (Howard) is cold, distant and as hungry as her son, for love. She seeks affection outside her home, which ultimately destroys the marriage. The real champion in the lonely boy’s life is his grandmother (Jones). When Reggie shows musical talent, she encourages him to play the piano and to pursue his passion.

Reggie’s desire to play and sing leads him to the Royal Academy of Music. As he enters his teen years (Connor), he begins performing in local pubs and forms a band called Bluesology.

Movie Review Rocketman

Movie Review Rocketman

Elton John is Born

As a young adult, Reggie and Bluesology are hired as a backup band for an American jazz band touring England. One of the singers gives the serious young man advice, to become famous: change his name, write his own songs, “kill” the old Reggie and become the person he is meant to be.

Inspired, Reggie adopts the name Elton John. He shares a few early songs with a studio, receiving moderate praise and interest. He acquires a manager who partners him with songwriter Bernie Taupin (Bell). The two become best friends and collaborators. Bernie writes song lyrics while Elton produces the melodies.

Their song, Your Song, lands them a performance at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. Elton overcomes a major case of the nerves to give an exceptional performance that ignites the audience and captures the attention of manager John Reid (Madden).

Movie Review Rocketman

Movie Review Rocketman

The Rise and Fall of a Rocketman

As Elton attempts to shed his old persona, and become a showman, his manager John shifts from showing romantic interest in the performer to openly manipulating him.

Once again denied the love that he craves, Elton throws himself into his performances. His costumes become more and more outlandish, to the delight of his audiences. In front of a crowd Elton is all smiles and brilliant show. Behind the scenes, his pain and loneliness drive him to drugs, alcohol and anger.

His long time friend and musical partner leaves. Elton truly finds himself alone and depressed, in the midst of incredible fame, and fortune, and people who want from him but have nothing to offer in return.

The past and the present day at last align, as Elton concludes his story. Realizing his life is spiraling downward, he walks away from a sold out concert and seeks help.

Can his career survive, he wonders, if he is sober and clean and more…ordinary?

Movie Review Rocketman

My Thoughts on Rocketman

Rocketman is a beautiful, clever musical, skillfully weaving Elton’s songs throughout the movie. They tell his story in illuminating ways, showing snapshots of who he was at different times in his life.

I’ve long been a fan of Elton John. His songs are an integral part of my storyline. Hearing them I can recount the events in my own life as his tunes topped the charts. I know his songs. However, the film taught me a great deal that I did not know about the man.

Elton’s story is overshadowed with sadness. It’s difficult for me to understand how love can be withheld from a child. In my heart it feels so wrong. And yet, it is possible that Elton’s early years birthed more than an extraordinary performer who wowed audiences. His pain gave incredible depth to his music. He truly is a musical genius. And although I teared up many times during this film, I experienced a deep appreciation for the way that he endured as he sought to be who he is.

The end credits are worth staying for. Actual photos and text tell the rest of Elton’s story, bringing us to the actual present day.

The tagline for Rocketman is an apt one.

“The only way to tell his story is to live his fantasy.”

What a moving way to get to know the heart of this man.

Movie Review Rocketman

 

Click photo below to order soundtrack.


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A Healing Journey Leads to Woman’s World Magazine

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Three years ago next month, my mother and I embarked on a healing journey together. I actually headed down that new path first, desperate to heal chronic sciatica that severely limited my mobility. Seeing improvement in my health, my mom, who struggled with a host of ailments herself, joined me in this trek toward better health.

Little did we know then, that incredible healing would transform our lives. And we could not imagine the opportunities that would come, to share our stories.

This is the timeline, of a healing journey that leads to Woman’s World Magazine.

Healing Journey Title Meme

 

Finding Hope

Four years ago, my sciatica worsened, after 22 years of daily chronic pain, to the point where I required a cane to walk. A car accident set off a series of reactions in my body that I could not seem to recover from. I faced the prospect of being in a wheelchair. (Read more about my story here.)

Through a Divine twist, I came across a post on Facebook by Anthony William, also known as the Medical Medium. He shared that often chronic pain after an accident has the Epstein Barr Virus as its source. The virus can attack organs or in my case, nerves. In the past I’d tried so many things to relieve my pain: physical therapy, pain meds, massage, energy work, exercise, electrical stimulation, injections, steroids and chiropractic manipulation. Nothing helped enough.

Anthony advocated a change in diet, something that had never been suggested to me before. Willing to try anything, I  began drinking celery juice. After reading Anthony’s first book, Medical Medium, I began a 28 Day Cleanse and ultimately switched to a plant based diet.

During the cleanse I parked the cane in a corner and there it remains. Mom noticed my improving health and decided to join me on the cleanse.

A Healing Journey Leads to Womans Day MagazineThis “before” photo, taken in October 2015, captures the cane resting against my right thigh. I was on pain meds so that I could participate in a fun evening with family. Mom and I both were at our heaviest, due to decreasing mobility and inactivity as a result of pain.

Inspiration for Change

Mom and I had reasons for changing our health, beyond the desire to feel better. I had a trip scheduled to Italy in May 2017, with my grandson and daughter. And mom and I had a trip to the UK with my sisters and niece planned for September of the same year. We wanted to feel like traveling and needed the energy and stamina to keep up.

In the span of a week, I accompanied my mom to all of her doctor appointments. I spoke with each doctor, explaining the plant based diet and the cleanse, and received their hearty approvals. It also gave Mom a baseline to measure improvement against.

We had one year before the trip, to take charge of our health and create change. With a great deal of determination and commitment, our healing journey began.

A Healing Journey Leads to Womans Day MagazineWe made it to the UK, enjoying Ireland, Scotland and England. Photo taken in Dublin, Ireland. No cane! And no pain meds.

To the UK…and Beyond

One year later, mom and I boarded that plane with my sisters and niece and experienced twelve wonderful days in the UK.

What incredible changes we experienced, health wise. My sciatica cleared up. And I healed from so many minor ailments such as severe acid reflux, hives and rashes, irritable bowel syndrome, seasonal allergies and headaches. Mom’s improvements were more dramatic. She experienced a huge decrease in the inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis, improvements in her entire digestive system and the healing of issues with her lungs and heart.

We both lost weight, easily, as a result of embracing a plant based diet, while our energy increased.

We felt so much better that we agreed to continue with the plant based lifestyle. As I share with others, nothing tastes as good as healthy feels. There was no going back for either of us. Three years along this path we’ve chosen, our health continues to improve. Mom’s heart doctor recently told her she didn’t need to come back for a year. “I wish all my patients would eat a plant based diet,” he told mom.

And precancerous spots in Mom’s stomach have completely disappeared. Her liver is free from fat and disease, which is remarkable for her age. I am thrilled with her level of health.

A Healing Journey Leads to Woman's World MagazineAn “after” photo for the magazine, with shirt possibilities.

The Healing Journey Leads to Woman’s World Magazine

Being a blogger, I regularly share posts and updates on social media, about my healing journey, and mom’s, as they are so connected. About a month ago, I received an email from an editor with the national publication, Woman’s World Magazine. She found me on Instagram, through my connection there with Anthony. After reading about the health journey Mom and I share, she asked if she could send us questions to answer, for an upcoming feature on Anthony William and celery juice.

“Of course”, I replied. I’m always happy to offer hope to others who are suffering and share about our healing experiences. The editor requested before and after photos as well, when she learned that both of us lost weight as a result of the changes in our diet. Again, we happily complied.

Imagine our surprise when the editor contacted me a couple of days later, saying they intended to use the info we supplied in the article…and next up was a professional photo shoot!

What?!

The healing journey took an unexpected and wildly fun turn. I asked Mom if she was game for an adventure. Bless this woman. I often end up in crazy adventures. And she never says “no” to joining me!

A Healing Journey Leads to Womans Day MagazineAsenath works her magic! She was so fun to be around. We appreciated all that she did.

Prepping for Photos

We literally had three days to prep for a photo shoot. A photographer from Los Angeles contacted me and began the process of securing a professional here to take the photos. He found Patty Jessee, with Patty Jessee Photography, and what a fun and kind woman she was to work with.

I was tasked with finding a hair and make up person. Her job included creating a natural look with make up and styling our hair. Due for a trim at Dr. Fly’s Salon, I met with stylist Asenath there. She graciously agreed to give up her Sunday afternoon to meet us at Mom’s house.

And Mom and I received detailed instructions on what to wear, including shirt colors and shoe styles. Every step in the process included photos taken and sent to the photographer in LA and to the editor. Shirts and slacks and shoes were approved…or not. I swapped out the light green shirt in the after photo above for a pink one. We purchased extra celery so that we could make juice to feature in the photos and have bunches of celery to hold.

After three whirlwind days, everyone met at Mom’s on Sunday afternoon, to get ready for the photo shoot.

A Healing Journey Leads to Womans World MagazineTaking a test photo.

The Photo Shoot

Patty arrived just as Asenath finished our hair and make up. After scouting out my mom’s backyard, she made the decision to move to a nearby location, where sunlight could filter through trees. I learned that there is so much to a professional photo shoot! We began about 4:00 PM and finished at a little after 8:00 PM.

Lighting is critical, as is the background for the shoot. Patty is immensely patient. She used great care setting up equipment, directing our poses, and keeping track of all of the details. We smiled until our cheeks ached, and changed clothes in the back of my car so that the magazine had different options.

And we laughed. Patty made the process fun and she knew exactly what to do. With everything going on, I totally failed to get a photo of her, as she snapped pics of my mom. We appreciated Patty’s skills, her great sense of humor and her endurance. She took about three hundred photos.

A Healing Journey Leads to Womans Day MagazineThe magazine is on sale. Articles are deliberately covered up. Purchase a magazine to read the article and our stories!

The Healing Journey Continues

Yesterday the Woman’s World Magazine, featuring the story about Anthony William and celery juice, hit the news stands. The magazine is on sale through June 12, at Walmart, Target and other stores that carry magazines.

And there on the cover, in the lower right corner, is my cute little mama. She’s holding a glass of celery juice. Inside the publication are two more photos, one of me, one of Mom, and our healing stories.

I’m so proud of my mom, for many reasons, not least of which is that she is so willing to jump on board with me on these adventures. She’s such a good sport.

I’m proud of my mom too for her accomplishments in turning her health around. The magazine deal was fun….and a wonderful experience. I’m so glad I got to share it with Mom. And I am beyond grateful for the healing experience we’ve shared. That journey continues on.

Our great desire is that the magazine article and our stories give hope to those who are hurting, feeling sick and looking for answers. Healing can take place. Health can be restored. There is hope.

We know. Health and vibrancy have returned to us. We are healed.

A Healing Journey Leads to Womans World Magazine

Order Celery Juice, by Anthony William, by clicking on the photo below:


 

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Back in Thyme Gardens & Culinary Center

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Saturday my mother and I enjoyed a rain free morning by exploring the Back in Thyme Gardens & Culinary Center. This gem of a garden is located south of Joplin, between Seneca and Neosho. The address is 18284 Gazelle Drive, Neosho, but use your phone’s GPS. This farmette , nestled in a gorgeous valley in Newton County, is in the middle of nowhere.

However, that’s part of it’s charm.

We successfully navigated the country roads, locating Back in Thyme Gardens in about half an hour, driving from Joplin. I’m so glad that we decided to follow curiosity and check it out. Truthfully, my mom had me at the word “garden”. It’s so much more than that though.

Back in Thyme Gardens & Culinary Center

Creating Back in Thyme Gardens & Culinary Center

Owners John and Brenda Coleman created the gardens four years ago, in an empty field across the road from their home. It could properly be called a hobby farm. However, I know from working in my own backyard garden that this hobby requires a great deal of work and maintenance.

A hobby farm is defined as a small farm operated for pleasure or for supplemental income, rather than being a source of primary income.

I don’t know if this is true for John and Brenda. It’s evident that Back in Thyme thrives under their continual care and they do take pleasure in their gardens. This place is truly a work of art and a labor of love, with emphasis on the labor part.

Back in Thyme Gardens & Culinary Center is open Thursday through Saturday, from spring until early summer. Along with the gardens to wander through, there are nursery plants for sale, a retail center and a delightful assortment of friendly animals. While there are items for sale, it does not cost anything to explore this magical place. Guests are encouraged to ask questions, smell the flowers and nibble on the edible plants.

Back in Thyme Gardens & Culinary Center

Back in Thyme Gardens & Culinary Center

The Inhabitants of Back in Thyme Gardens

Mom and I arrived at the gardens just as they opened for the day.  I laughed as soon as we stepped out of the car.  Gracie the dog greeted us, along with the cutest trio of animals I’ve ever seen. Two pot belly pigs grunted a welcome to us as they crowded eagerly against the fence.

Of course I had to get closer. What made me laugh, however, was their sidekick friend tagging along. She’s a turkey! These three stayed side by side in their enclosure, obviously best buds.

As we entered the gardens, the trio trotted across their pen to meet us on the interior side. I couldn’t resist. I scratched their snouts, which the pigs seemed to enjoy, and petted the turkey.

Back in Thyme Gardens & Culinary Center

Back in Thyme Gardens & Culinary Center

It was equally fun to visit the chicken enclosure and watch all the chicks come running! These well cared for animals appear to enjoy human interaction. The ducks waddled over to check us out as well and preen a bit. The back of the gardens contains bee hives. We stayed clear of those, so as not to disturb them.

Back in Thyme Gardens & Culinary Center

Exploring Back in Thyme Gardens

I love that one can stand in any spot and see most of the gardens, and yet there are many paths to wander down and alcoves to explore.

We took our time  walking down each pathway.

Colorful flowers spill over huge metal tubs. Herbs share space with veggies and fruits. It was fun to identify each plant we found, or failing to come up with a name, look at the little signs. I like that the gardens are a mix of many plants. It’s how I garden, with a certain amount of riotous chaos. It makes for an interesting and beautiful space.

We spied an Alice in Wonderland themed garden. And alcoves both large and small intrigued us with statues, plants and repurposed items.

Back in Thyme Gardens & Culinary Center

Back in Thyme Gardens & Culinary Center

Wandering the gardens, I felt inspired. I took mental notes of ideas I could incorporate into my own backyard paradise. For example, an old brass headboard painted green serves as a decoration in the garden, as does a vintage metal settee bench. I love using repurposed metal in my garden. I’ll be watching for a headboard at a flea market or yard sale to “plant” in my backyard.

As we left the front gardens, we entered into the nursery section, where low wooden tables held containers of herbs and flowers for sale.

Back in Thyme Gardens & Culinary Center

The Back in Thyme Nursery

The back section of the gardens offers row after row of plants for sale. Mom and I enjoyed walking down each row. We discovered flowers that are new to us. And we exclaimed over the many varieties of peonies, a fragrant spring flower that my grandfather loved.

Butterflies and bees flitted from flower to flower, a sign of a healthy and attractive garden.

As I look around, I’m impressed with this garden center. And I feel so at home here. If I owned a couple of acres, this is what I’d love to create. The Colemans have transformed a field into beautiful gardens and launched a dream.

Back in Thyme Gardens & Culinary Center

Back in Thyme Gardens & Culinary Center

Finally we wandered into the little retail shop. It’s cool interior welcomed us after our exploring outdoors. The shop offers an assortment of gardening books and supplies, seeds, raw organic honey from the onsite bees, windchimes and many other fun items.

Gracie the dog enjoys the shop too. She sprawls on the floor, hoping for a belly rub.

We purchase packets of seeds, to fill the last of our empty containers.

The Search for Eden

In the movie, A Little Chaos, Andre Le Nortre, the master gardener, asks Sabine about her small and wildly beautiful garden.

“This abundance of chaos…is this your Eden?”

“My search for it,” she answers.

Perhaps those of us who enjoy gardening…who love getting our hands into the dirt and think nothing of talking to  plants…perhaps we are instinctively searching for Eden. By creating our own paradises, we find our way back to the garden. We return home.

If you enjoy gardens or herbs or flowers or barnyard animals, you must visit Back in Thyme Gardens & Culinary Center. Future plans expand on the culinary part, with cooking classes and demonstrations offered.

I so look forward to that. And I look forward to returning to this piece of Eden.

Back in Thyme Gardens & Culinary Center

Visit the Back in Thyme Gardens & Culinary Center Facebook page HERE.

Stream A Little Chaos HERE on Amazon Prime.

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program is designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

 

Mer-Sea & Co Cotton Tassel Wrap

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Thank you to Mer-Sea & Co for sending the Cotton Tassel Wrap for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

As spring warms up and teases with hints of summer, I’m trading long sleeves and jackets for short sleeves, sandals and lightweight layers. I love to throw a wrap on as I head out the door. It provides a bit of that fun boho style that I so adore.

So when Mer-Sea & Co offered to send me one of their amazing cotton wraps to try, I immediately answered yes! I didn’t even care which color wrap they sent. I browsed their website and loved all of them.

Mer-Sea & CO Cotton Tassel Wrap

The Mer-Sea & Co Cotton Tassel Wrap Arrives

When my box from Mer-Sea arrived, I felt a thrill of anticipation. Which wrap did they send? What color?

Opening the box, I fell in love with this company. The wrap arrived in a cotton bag…with tassels! I am in the process of limiting one use plastics, which includes straws, shopping bags and plastic packaging that’s torn open and tossed.

Not only is the cotton bag cute, it’s reusable! This company captured my interest and my appreciation before I even saw the wrap.

The bag hinted at which wrap waited for me inside…the blue and white striped one edged with tassels. I was delighted.

Mer-Sea & Co Cotton Tassel Wrap

The Mer-Sea Company

While I watched for a sunny day, to do an outdoor photo shoot, I researched Mer-Sea.

The company was founded by friends Melanie and Lina who share the belief that life should be simple, like life at the beach. This attitude is reflected in all of their products, where utility, tranquility and simplicity reign.

From Melanie and Lina,

“…the sea represents a place to play, unwind, recharge, and chase adventure. We are dedicated to the travelers, the dreamers and the doers – because we really do believe ‘the world is your oyster.’”

I love that philosophy. It resonates deeply with me.

Mer-Sea & Co offers mindful products such as artisan soy wax blend candles, travel accessories, bath and body necessities and beautiful sweaters and wraps, crafted in the colors of the sea. All of the product bags are hand sewn, locally.

And Mer-Sea gives back. All profits from the sale of the Sea Change candle goes to water.org. This organization provides access to safe water and sanitation for millions of people in need.

Mer-Sea & Co Cotton Tassel Wrap

Wearing the Cotton Tassel Wrap

Mild temps and ample sunshine today presented the opportunity to try out the wrap. The Mer-Sea & Co Cotton Tassel Wrap is versatile, with multiple ways to style it.

Fresh from a shower, my wrap first functioned as a sarong. The wrap is a generous 77″ x 43″, making it perfect for wrapping around the body or snugging around the waist over a swimsuit. I thoroughly enjoyed wearing the cotton sarong while drying my hair and applying makeup.

To show off the wrap as part of my outfit today, I wanted to honor the foundational beliefs of the company. I needed a body of water as a backdrop for my photo shoot.

Being landlocked in Missouri, and a city dweller too, my water options are limited. However, a nearby park features a small but pretty lake with twin fountains. With Greg serving as my photographer, off we went to take photos.

Mer-Sea & Co Cotton Tassel Wrap

Photo Shoot Featuring the Mer-Sea & Co Cotton Tassel Wrap

Late afternoon was perfect for taking outdoor photos. I could have waited another half hour, for the sun to sink lower in the sky. However, we tried out different locations around the little lake. We strove for just the right spot, to avoid bright sunlight on my face….which makes me squint…and shadows.

I recently experienced a professional photo shoot, so I picked up tips from that wonderful photographer! Avoid bright light. And watch out for telephone poles, buildings and people in the background.

Persistence paid off. Locations on the south and north side of the lake offered just the right amount of light. The wrap was fun to wear, as we circled the lake. I loved the way the breeze fluttered it. I could gather the lightweight material around me…or allow the wrap to slip off my shoulders as it played with the wind.

For the photos I modeled the garment as a wrap, and as a scarf. On cool days the scarf could circle the neck and shoulders, providing light warmth and protection.

Mer-Sea & Co Cotton Tassel Wrap

Mer-Sea, Mercy and Merci

After a fun photo shoot, I enjoyed wearing the cotton tassel wrap to the grocery store. Truthfully, I am often chilled while shopping, due to the air conditioning. And that’s not the only place that makes me wish for a jacket, even on warm days.

The movie theater, airplanes, and many other retail stores are so cold. I loved wearing my wrap as I shopped. It made me feel comfortable. I’ll be toting this cotton garment with me to the theater and it will accompany me on my upcoming trip to Scotland. Even in July that gorgeous country is cool and rainy. How perfect to slip on a wrap against the chill. And I have the cute little cotton bag to pack the wrap in.

As I began tonight’s blog post, I had a sudden realization that made me laugh.

Melanie and Lina named their company intentionally. Mer is the French word for “sea”. And Mer-Sea, spoken aloud, sounds like merci, which means “thank you”. The park with the water feature is Mercy Park. Mercy is the act of showing kindness, grace and compassion.

Doesn’t it all come together beautifully?

Mer-Sea, merci, mercy. That’s a lot of thankfulness and grace associated with a wonderful company that focuses on travel, simplicity, beauty and helping others. I’m grateful for the cotton tassel wrap, and for the company.

Mer-Sea & Co Cotton Tassel Wrap

Please check out the Mer-Sea & Co website! They offer amazing products, an awesome blog and a MerSea Rewards Program.

Mer-Sea & Co

 

 

 

 

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10 Shade Garden Plants

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Not all areas of a yard or garden space receive full sun. For many plants, six to eight hours of sunshine is a requirement for growth and vibrant blooms.

However, shady areas can contribute their own unique beauty. The north side of a house or garage, the space beneath leafy trees or spots overshadowed by taller plants are perfect for these 10 shade garden plants.

10 Shade Garden Plants

Shade Garden Perennials

Like their sun loving kin, these perennials return year after year, however they thrive in partial to full shade.

Hosta

Available in a variety of patterns and hues of green, these magnificent plants often anchor the shade garden. Although they are known for their showy leaves, hostas bloom too. They produce tall stalks of white flowers in the summer. These plants can grow to be three feet in diameter so give them plenty of space.

Coral Bells

These beauties put up masses of tiny pink, white, red or coral bell-shaped flowers. Although the delicate flowers are pretty, coral bells show off with gorgeous foliage as well. The leaves vary from dark green to purple to bronze. The low mounding plants stay under two feet tall.

Hydrangea

This shrubby plant appreciates light shade and tolerates morning or late afternoon sun. Hydrangea produces large round clusters of flowers, in pinks, blues and white. This plant can grow up to four feet tall.

10 Shade Garden PlantsCoral bells, hydrangea and hosta share space in my shade garden.

Ferns

Have you ever walked through a forest and noticed wild ferns growing beneath the trees? Ferns thrive in cool, shady, damp conditions. In the garden plant beneath trees or other taller plants. Or place ferns in containers and hang or display on covered porches. They come in a variety of shapes with colors ranging from bright greens to deep earth tones to purples.

Astilbe

This showy plant is one of the most popular for the shade garden. They send up plumes of flowers in pink, lavender, red, white or salmon above fern-like foliage. They range in height from six inches to five feet, depending on the variety. The smaller astilbe plants do well in containers.

10 Shade Garden PlantsThis lovely Japanese fern thrives in my garden where it is shaded by ornamental grasses, clematis and irises.

Shade Garden Annuals

These annuals provide color even in the shade. Fill in any gaps in the shade garden with these easy to care for plants. Or place in containers on covered porches and patios.

Polka Dot Plants

Also called freckle face plants, these common plants produce colorful foliage. Colors vary. Some plants show off green leaves sprinkled with pink dots while others produce red whorls on a green background. Although known for their foliage, polka dot plants bear tiny pink or white flowers on slender stalks in late summer. They make ideal container plants and generally stay under a foot in height.

Coleus

Another plant with colorful foliage, coleus comes in a wide variety of leaf sizes and shapes. Leaves are typically variegated in reds, greens, browns, yellows and pinks. Easy to care for, these plants grow quickly, up to 18 inches tall. Coleus makes an idea container plant. Place them in darker corners of porches to brighten up the space.

Impatiens

These adorable flowering plants are available in so many colors. Use them to create a monochromatic shade garden, using all white or all pink flowers, for a dramatic touch. Or tuck a combination of colors into containers and place them in shady spots. I use these versatile flowers in containers in darker corners of the garden, on the porch, and in containers on the north side of the house. They wilt easily so keep them well watered.

10 Shade Garden PlantsNew Guinea impatiens, coleus and a polka dot plant in containers beneath the red bud tree. Rilynn is my garden cat. She loves the flowers.

Foxglove

These beautiful plants create interest with their bell shaped flowers on tall stems. Reaching a height of six feet, foxgloves thrive in partial or full shade, making them a very versatile plant. In cooler climates they even do well in full sun. (Check your planting zone on the map HERE.) The clusters of flowers range in color from white to yellow and lavender to pink. Like most of the shade loving plants, keep foxgloves well watered.

Begonia

One of the easiest plants to grow and maintain, begonias boast attractive foliage and pretty little flowers. Both can be a variety of colors. The leaves may be pale or dark green or bronze, while the flowers bloom in white, reds and pinks. Begonias do well in the shade garden as a low growing border plant. Or pop them into containers and place them anywhere a shot of color is needed.

These are my favorite plants to fill my vintage red wooden box, that belonged to my aunt. I use a variety of clay pots to group the begonias together. Keep these plants well watered as well. With shade garden plants, a good rule of thumb is to water them every day, especially during hot weather.

10 Shade Garden PlantsBegonias make excellent container plants and look wonderful grouped together.

Backyard Garden Series

From perennials to annuals, herbs to shade gardens, I’ve got you covered with the Backyard Garden Series. Check out some of the other posts below:

Questions about gardening? Ask in the comments below or send me a message!

Check out these awesome gardening products:

 

 

 

 

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Create a Personal Manifesto

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Recently, the idea for a personal manifesto popped into my head. I scribbled some notes….and tucked them away.

This is one of the things I love about my life. When something is important, it cycles back around. I receive gentle nudges to pay attention to what’s important.

Such is the case with this project. A couple of nudges in the last couple of days reminded me of my intention to create this visual representation of my life. As always, it’s up to me whether I turn my attention toward that which calls to me. I’ve learned from past experiences that it’s to my benefit to do so. I returned to my notes.

You might want to create a personal manifesto too.

Create a Personal Manifesto

What is a Personal Manifesto?

A manifesto is a statement of intentions and ideals that sometimes includes a call to action. Think of it as a mission statement or a declaration of beliefs and desires.

A personal manifesto helps us to evaluate where we are in life, and provides clarity on where we want to go. It can provoke change, encourage shifts and inspire forward momentum.

I like to look at the development of words and check out their origins.

Manifesto originates from the Latin word manifestus, which means “make obvious”.  It later become the Latin word manifesto, meaning “make public”.

I love that. Manifesto carries the meaning of making the obvious public or known. In the case of a personal manifesto, it’s making what is obvious to me, in my life, public, for the purpose of inspiration and guidance.

Each person’s manifesto is uniquely his or her own. They reflect journeys, beliefs, desires and wisdom.

However, here are general suggestions to create a personal manifesto of your own.

Create a Personal Manifesto

How to Create a Personal Manifesto

Get inspired

Discover what you love. Collect quotes, memes, art, photos and objects that help to clarify beliefs and where you are in the journey. Pinterest is a great online site to create boards where ideas can be “pinned” for inspiration. Boards can be set to private so only you can see what’s pinned there.

Pinterest is more a search engine than a social media site. Use the search bar to type in key words such as travel or gardening or dogs or art quotes, to find meaningful photos and posts.

Add quotes, colors and photos that capture your heart and make you smile. If you don’t connect with it deeply, don’t pin it to your board. I named mine Mood Board.

Create a Personal ManifestoOne of my favorite inspirational quotes.

Make Notes

Grab a notebook and a pen, type on a computer or use the notes app on your phone to make notes in several categories.

Write out…and Ask Yourself

  1. I believe…. (What are my views toward life?)
  2. I desire…  (How do I desire to live?)
  3. This is true for me… (What words of wisdom have I adopted?)

Use your notes to create a personal manifesto that expresses your beliefs, your desires and your wisdom. This is a framework for your life, a compass pointing to your true north.

Write in the present tense. Use descriptive language and keep the words uplifting and positive. Don’t make the manifesto so long that you can’t read it in a few minutes.

See my example at the end of the post.

Display Your Personal Manifesto

Once it is created, place the manifesto in an easily accessible place, for daily reading.

Print it out. Write it in calligraphy. Create art with it. Frame it. Hang the manifesto on the refrigerator, above a workspace, or place it on the table next to the bed. This is your current Owner’s Manual. Don’t tuck it into a drawer and forget about it. Read your personal manifesto, every day.

Create a Personal ManifestoThis quote from Alan Rickman inspired a whole year of my life and continues to have an influence. Of course it made it into my manifesto.

My Personal Manifesto

For the purposes of the blog, I’m presenting my own manifesto grouped into the above mentioned categories:

I Believe…

  • in Divine guidance  and having a personal relationship with God
  • in a daily, ongoing conversation with the Divine
  • I am created to live an extraordinary life, beyond the edges, free from fear and playing small
  • it’s important to love myself deeply and completely so that I can offer unconditional love to others
  • life is big, mysterious and enchanted
  • all people are children of God
  • in making life a little more tender and art a little more robust (thank you Alan)
  • I can do anything that I desire to do
  • everything is energy
  • nature laughs in flowers

Create a Personal Manifesto

I Desire to…

  • follow curiosity
  • surrender to the flow of life
  • embrace my gifts and my quirks
  • allow passion to fuel my life
  • engage in new experiences
  • travel, both inwardly and around the world
  • offer to others while walking alongside them
  • express creativity in a multitude of ways
  • see the good in people and situations
  • live a healthy, vibrant life by adopting a plant based lifestyle

Create a Personal Manifesto

My Life Wisdom…

  • I accept that for me, the veil between this world and the Spirit world is thin
  • I’m 100% responsible for my life
  • happiness starts within
  • I am open to everything and attached to nothing
  • others have the freedom to be exactly who they are
  • I create change in my life by shifting my thoughts and beliefs
  • my outer world is a reflection of my inner one
  • I am the Queen of my own kingdom
  • life is art (thank you Helena Bonham Carter)
  • be who I am created to be, no matter what

Create a Personal ManifestoGet a similar mug here.

This Owner’s Manual Changes as We Do

As we grow and learn and shift, our personal manifestos change as well.

One of the values of reading the manifesto daily is to see if it is still in alignment with who we are. When something feels out of sync, it is time to update the manifesto so that it continues to reflect current beliefs, desires and words of wisdom.

My intention is to create a work of art with my personal manifesto, after I’ve pondered on it for a few more days. I’m drawn to paint a watercolor and add the words. Or perhaps I’ll print out the words and then create a colored pencil sketch over them. Whatever I create, I’ll share it!

What would your manifesto look like? What beliefs, desires and words of wisdom belong on your document or work of art? I’d love to see it.

Create a Personal Manifesto

 

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program is designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

 

 

Create a Bee & Butterfly Garden

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Today, May 20, happens to be World Bee Day. Founded to bring awareness to one of the world’s most important pollinators, World Bee Day seems perfect for a post that offers tips to create a bee and butterfly garden.

More than half of the world’s flowering plants require a pollinator to reproduce. Pollinators include butterflies, birds, beetles, wasps, bats, flies and bees. When a bee, for example, lands on a flower the sticky hairs on its body and legs collect pollen. As the bee flits from flower to flower, it transfers pollen, as it collects more, which is crucial for the plants’ reproduction.

Without pollinators, our whole eco-system is in danger. And, unfortunately, pollinators, especially bees, are declining in numbers.

We can help by creating bee and butterfly gardens, to attract and nourish these important species.

Create a Bee & Butterfly Garden

Create a Bee and Butterfly Garden

The best way to attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies to the garden is to offer a variety of flowering plants and herbs. As the pollinators do their important work of gathering pollen, they feed on nectar from the flowers.

A great suggestion, from The Honeybee Conservancy, is to feed them throughout the growing season, by including plants that flower in spring, summer and fall.

 

Create a Bee & Butterfly Garden

Spring Blooming Plants

These early bloomers are crucial as food sources at the beginning of the growing season:

  • crocus
  • hyacinth
  • calendula
  • lilac
  • pansy
  • sweet violet
  • spiderwort
  • dianthus (mini carnation)s

Create a Bee & Butterfly GardenLilac bush

Summer Blooming Plants

Many plants bloom during the warm summer months, providing ample food sources for pollinators. Add any of these flowers and herbs to a bee and butterfly garden:

  • bee balm
  • cone flower (echinacea)
  • snapdragon
  • hosta
  • lavender
  • marigold
  • chives
  • basil
  • oregano
  • rosemary
  • lemon balm
  • black eyed Susan

Create a Bee & Butterfly GardenHostas in bloom

Fall Blooming Plants

These late bloomers will keep pollinators coming to the garden after summer flowers fade away. Include a couple of these:

  • zinnia
  • sedum (live forevers)
  • aster
  • witch hazel
  • chrysanthemum
  • pineapple sage
  • Russian sage

Create a Bee & Butterfly GardenPineapple sage

Additional Tips to Create a Bee and Butterfly Garden

Try to include flowering plants from all three groups, to offer a continuous feast for bees and butterflies, hummingbirds and wasps. The plants can be grouped together, in a dedicated space. Or spread the plants throughout the garden space. The pollinators will find them.

No yard? No problem. The flowers and herbs listed do well in containers, turning a small balcony or patio into a bee and butterfly garden that will attract and nourish as well as a large space.

Bees and butterflies need a water source. Place shallow containers filled with water throughout the garden. Add twigs for insects to rest upon while they drink, or place containers near ornamental grasses or other upright plants. A bird bath works as well.

Butterflies and wasps enjoy mud puddles. They need the salts and minerals found in the mud.

Do not use pesticides or herbicides in the garden, as they kill pollinators. See Ecological Garden Hacks for natural ways of dealing with pests.

Create a Bee & Butterfly GardenCone Flowers

A Home for Many Creatures

One of the things that I most enjoy about my garden is that it is full of life. The plants grow and bloom and multiply. They not only bring me joy and provide healing for me, they offer sanctuary for many creatures.

Along with the plants, I provide natural elements so that beneficial insects and allies make my garden their home. Tree stumps serve as cute, natural containers for flowers, and they allow insects to take up residence there too. Ornamental grasses offer hiding places and blades of grass to rest upon. I have toad and spider houses tucked into my garden and shallow discs that I fill daily with water.

Bees, butterflies, lady bugs, praying mantis, wasps, dragonflies, frogs, toads, spiders, ants, earthworms and many other little critters co-exist in this backyard paradise. They are important to the health and wellbeing of my garden, and to the earth.

I do all that I can to welcome them and create a supportive environment in which they can thrive.

Won’t you join me, for the good and wellbeing of all, and create a bee and butterfly garden?

Create a Bee & Butterfly GardenThis amazing painting featured at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks.

Backyard Garden Series

Check out these other posts, in this gardening series:

 

Click on photos below, to order packages of flower seeds that are perfect for creating a bee and butterfly garden:



Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program is designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you. 

The Liebster Award

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

I am honored to receive the Liebster Award, for my blog!

This award, from blogger Amy Braun, of Ai Love Music, encourages people to discover new blogs. Liebster, in German, means “sweetest, kindest, dearest beloved”. The word is an endearment. Taken in context with the blogging community, the Liebster Award encourages us to support and applaud each other.

I appreciate Amy. She shares her knowledge and her passion for music on her blog. I learn so much about different genres and artists, reading her posts.

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award Rules

As with all the blogger awards, this one has rules. They are:

  • Thank the nominator and link to his or her blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked.
  • Come up with 11 new questions for the new nominees.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers for the award.

My Answers to Amy’s Questions

  1. What is your favorite song, and why? This changes all the time! Currently I’m still enjoying Queen’s music, largely due to the recent film Bohemian Rhapsody. I purchased the soundtrack after watching the movie.
  2. What does music mean to you? Music is the beat of my heart and the utterances of my soul. It inspires me, encourages me and often guides me in Divine ways.
  3. Have you met someone famous before? Musically, I’ve met various Christian artists and bands. I have met other celebrities. Most recently my grandson and I had the pleasure of meeting David Tennent and Matt Smith from Doctor Who.
  4. Have you ever had a life changing moment involving music? Music is vital to me. Every year I am given a song that represents my upcoming journey for the year. My song for this year is Ever, Ever After.
  5. What are you listening to right now? The song I woke up with this morning is More Than Words, by Extreme. I’ve been listening to it all day.
  6. if you could tell about your life in a song, what song would it be and why? I consider the song, Where My Heart Will Take Me to be my life song.
  7. Is there a musical genre you don’t listen to? I don’t care much for rap.
  8. Have you ever been to a concert? I’ve been to several. My favorite was a Michael Bolton concert. I love that man’s voice.
  9. Who do you want to meet in the future? Musically, I’d love to meet the remaining Queen members.
  10. Are you musical? Do you play an instrument or sing? I sing, privately, all the time. I used to play the piano and the drums.
  11. What’s your favorite lyric? Right now I’m loving the lyrics from Ever, Ever After.

The Liebster Award Concert

The Liebster Award

Questions for My Liebster Award Nominees

  1. What do you enjoy most about blogging?
  2. How long have been blogging?
  3. What’s currently the biggest challenge with your blog?
  4. Who most inspires you?
  5. How did you come up with your blog name?
  6. What is your favorite go to drink?
  7. If you have a free afternoon, what do you love to do?
  8. What’s your favorite movie?
  9. Are you an early bird or a night owl?
  10. What’s your favorite meal?
  11. If you could travel to any destination, where would you go?

The Liebster Award

My Liebster Award Nominees

Nicole with Souloving is a holistic self-care coach who loves encouraging women to be the best they can be.

Pauline shares traveling tips and helps with itineraries from a home based travel agency in her blog Little Frog Blogger.

Erin from Lullaby Lark helps discouraged mommas find hope and healing in Jesus.

Maria has the awesome motto: be more, want less, gain quality. Check out her blog Literally Simple.

In Queen’s Domania, Mary empowers women to achieve financial independence and a queen consciousness.

In his blog The Side Hustle, Hensel offers financial tips and ways to make money online.

Andrea provides fun accelerated learning methods for kids in her blog, Simply Outrageous Youth.

DeShena shares ways to improve the self, build wealth and live an extravagantly best life in Extravagantly Broke.

In the blog Wednesday Morning Whispers, Wendy shares life experiences and celebrates simple joys.

LeTisha helps women live a simple life through tips on budgeting, cleaning and parenting in her blog Mommas Simple Life.

Kevin teaches personal protection techniques, inside and outside the home, and ways to make the home secure in Pew Pew Guru.

Please check out these fine blogs and show them some love!

The Liebster AwardAppreciation

I’ve come to deeply appreciate the  blogging community. There is such support within this group of journeyers who happen to share their perspectives and experiences through the written word.

However, our writing is for naught without our dear readers. I also deeply appreciate those who take the time to read our blogs, leave comments and share posts that resonate with them.

From a full heart I say, “Thank you”, to Amy for this Liebster Award nomination, to my colleagues and to my readers and followers. You all bring such incredible joy to my life.

The Liebster Award

Other Blogging Awards

Check out the other awards Cindy Goes Beyond has won:

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program is designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.