Re~alise: 5 Reasons to mow your own lawn

365 project 12-11-12 NEW DAY DEW

I like gardening – it’s a place where I find myself when I need to lose myself. ~ Alice Sebold

Earlier this week I mowed my own lawn.

Nothing major or too exciting about that is there? Well, on the surface of it you wouldn’t think too much of mowing your lawn. Anyone with grass in their yard needs to do it before nature’s jungle takes over. Some of us will hire Lawnmower Man to tend to their green expanses while some wouldn’t dream of having a stranger touch their luscious blades. Some don’t have much choice but to chuck on their daggy clothing and get messy in the garden.

Before I moved to my new home I actually did hire someone to come out and regularly maintain my yard – for me it was because I was time poor and I was able to find someone to do a relatively decent job without it costing me the earth. Since I’ve moved though, I have been mowing myself and it got me to thinking about the actual benefits involved in the process. Here’s a little list I came up with – while mowing no less 😉

  1. Free Mulch:  Yep, that Nitrogen rich goodness makes a fantastic mulch for your garden, especially your vegies!  You do need to be careful that you’re not using grass clippings that have been treated with chemicals though as this could kill your plants as the clippings break down and leach into your soil.
  2. Keeping fit:  Who doesn’t work up a sweat pushing that mower back and forth?  I say “If you’re not sweating, you’re not doing it right!”  Lawn mowing counts as a cardiovascular exercise as it gets your blood pumping.  I also know I feel my upper body strengthening too and ladies, if you tighten your pelvic floor muscles while you’re pushing and pulling the mower you’ll be doing yourself an extra favour!  Obviously, how much of a work out depends on your mower, yard size etc.  but everything counts! Who needs a gym membership?!
  3. Thinking time:  I have always enjoyed mowing as excellent thinking time: no-one disturbs me while I’m mowing, I’m alone with my thoughts and I get some great creative ideas or solutions to problems while I’m mowing.  Just make sure you’re still paying attention to what you’re doing so you don’t cut down the wrong thing – like your precious plants or toes 😉
  4. The sweet smell of freshly mown grass:  I’m yet to meet someone who says they don’t like that smell though I’m sure they’re out there… somewhere.  Did you know that a constituent of freshly mown grass actually helps to relieve stress, make you feel happy and boosts memory?  I know I feel better afterwards and that’s enough evidence for me but check out this article for more info if you’re curious.
  5. Cold showers:  After working up a good sweat there is nothing like a refreshing cold shower and you may be more willing to take a completely cold shower after you’ve done that work out!  The benefits of a cold shower are numerous:  increased circulation, strengthened immunity, increasing metabolism, easing depression and deepening breathing to name a few.  Check out this site for further information or research it yourself 🙂

These are the benefits I came up with from my own perspective, they’re motivation enough for me to keep mowing my own lawn.  I’d be interested to hear what other people get out of lawn mowing too.

Keep smiling!



Re~newable: My new obsession

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Ok, I’m ready to admit something.  Something that has growing inside me for quite a number of months now and it started with the purchase of new bed sheets.

I have a bamboo obsession.

There, I’ve said it.  I’ve put it out to the cosmos and admitted by current addiction.

I have an obsession with bamboo and I’m proud of it.

I will preface this blog post by saying I have never considered myself overtly eco-friendly or proactive in  support of saving our environment however I have always had an innate interest in all things naturally occurring in our world and the use of natural substances in my life in their natural forms.  I have been a big lover and user of natural medicine, for example.

Now, I don’t mean to say that I have not been environmentally conscious; I have recycled in my home for as long as I can remember and, while I am still learning how to compost properly, I have, at least, chucked my organic goodies into a pile in the garden and once decomposed spread the juicy goodness around my plants (hopefully helping rather than hurting my plants!).

In the last year or two I have observed myself becoming more and more attuned to the world in which I live and the effect we, as humans, are having on it.  I see plastic absolutely everywhere around me, for example, and it saddens me that we haven’t yet found a way to breakdown the lethal plastics we have created however I am gladdened by the fact we have created new forms of plastic that can be recycled and even some that are biodegradable (such as some of our plastic shopping bags).

I wandered around my home one night, looking upon all that I owned and acknowledged exactly how much plastic I own and how much I have contributed to the plastic problem; to the never-ending waste piles at the tip that will never, ever break down until we can find away to dissolve the molecules of our power plastics.

I know plastic has a place and sometimes only a plastic item will fulfil a job in just the right way.  I understand that and I’m not professing to get rid of every single plastic item I own (that would just contribute to the pile anyway).  However, that night, I made a little vow to myself to lessen my personal plastic participation.  I decided to replace some of the more plastic parts of my world for more natural materials.  I’ve always preferred natural aesthetics anyway.

Seeing as I was in my kitchen when I had my little epiphany it began with my cooking utensils.  I had purchased some crappy plastic things many years ago when my only consideration would have been the cost on my purse.  The utensils themselves were pretty disgusting really; all melted at the tips as they actually weren’t well made for heat.

I know I had often looked at them when I cooked and thought it couldn’t be healthy that this plastic was kind of melting into my food and I was probably eating it in some form, and yet, I did nothing about it on that level either.

Well, this particular day I did.  I sat at my computer and began to research alternatives.  It began with wood as I love wood.  I Googled wooden utensils and found a plethora of delights! Oh how I love wooden objects!

I didn’t buy any straight away, I’m rather a considered shopper when it comes to how much I’m willing to spend – I don’t particularly like to spend money without knowing I’m getting the best possible quality for the amount I’m prepared to spend.  After a week or so of googling, ebaying, and perusing the shops I was set to buy some with a little expense, resigning myself to the fact that wood was seemingly an elite choice.

Then I stumbled on some bamboo utensils.  They were relatively inexpensive in comparison to wood plus had the added benefit of being naturally anti-bacterial, it’s not as porous as wood therefore less absorbent; it’s light-weight and durable.  Add to those pluses that bamboo is a grass and therefore a far more renewable resource than wood as it doesn’t take anywhere near as long to grow before you can use it and you’re on to a winner! I was sold – new set of bamboo utensils for less than $10! (And they’re still going strong with no sign of deterioration too).

That was my introduction to bamboo but the real obsession began, as I said, with my newest set of bedding.  Being absolutely delighted with my new bamboo utensils I began to research what other bamboo products were out there then, one night laying in my old bed sheets flicking through a Pillowtalk catalogue I noticed a quilt set with a bamboo print.  The bedding wasn’t made from bamboo but it got me to thinking.

I immediately popped onto the ipad (not wanting to get out of bed of course!) and looked up bamboo bedding.  Lo and behold! I found bamboo bedding! And rave reviews as well.  Bamboo fabric is 100% organic; silky soft with a natural sheen; allows your body to breathe naturally; promotes a comfortable and peaceful sleep; is highly absorbent and comfortable during summer; wonderfully warm in winter; naturally anti-bacterial and anti-microbial; stays fresher longer; naturally hypoallergenic; perfect for allergy sufferers (dust-mites don’t like it – my allergen!); and continues to feel silky soft wash after wash plus I’ve found that even stains don’t stick – my son had a blood nose in bed with me one night and it came right out.

It can be a little more expensive than you’re everyday bedding but for all those pros I couldn’t resist; I did my research and bought a set with two pillow cases, a doona cover and flat sheet for around $70 – a steal!  It is my favourite bedding set by far and I am looking to purchase another set to replace my Egyptian cotton set.  I absolutely love it!  I love bamboo!

I will add a disclaimer that it may not be to everyone’s liking as my teenage daughter will attest: she found it a little too silky feeling for her but my son asked for a set of his own!

My love for bamboo has extended far beyond cooking utensils and bedding now. I’ve moved into furniture and towels and shower curtains and flooring and clothing and…. wait for it…. computer keyboards!!! How fabulous is that?! The Great Gift Bringer is bringing me a bamboo keyboard and mouse for the festive season this year and I cannot wait to unwrap it and getting tapping and clicking!

So, yes, I have a bamboo obsession.  I think its a healthy obsession though given its eco-friendly, low impact on the environment, naturally better for my health and home as well as being pretty light on the old hip pocket – what more could a gal ask for?!

Re~believe: We are all creative.

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” ~ Mary Lou Cook

I love all things creative and I love having fun, and when you are doing these things, this, to me, is truly living.

A lot of people tell me they are not creative: “I don’t have a creative bone in my body!” they exclaim when they see something I have, or someone else has, made.  I say, not true!  Every one of us is creative in some fashion. Everyone.

Most people will label themselves ‘Not Creative’ because they attribute creativity with being ‘Arty’ or ‘Crafty’ but creativity is seen in abundance all around us.  It doesn’t have to be related to what is created by “Artists” although I tend to think of everyone as an artist just as I find everyone is creative in some way.

Creativity is simply about creating something.  It doesn’t have to be original, though many will argue this point, but just in having your unique self create something makes that something in itself unique because no two people will create any one thing exactly the same.  It doesn’t need to be art or crafts.  You don’t need to be a painter, a writer, a poet, a singer, a dancer or any type of artist to be creative.

The mother who whips up a meal for her children shaping it into some foreign creature to entice her playful children to eat, is creative.

The mechanic who builds a new engine hoist from an old trampoline body, is creative.

The business manager who always comes up with new and innovative ideas to build her business, is creative.

The father who mows patterns into his lawn, is creative.

The teenager who hooks his organ up to his stereo as a speaker, is creative.

The person who exaggerates illness to take a sick day from work, is creative.

The reader who conjures images of the book scenes in their mind, is creative.

All these are true stories.  Everyone I have ever met has been creative in some way and I am willing to bet I can find something creative about everyone I meet in the future too.  It’s really just about perspective and losing the constrictive definition we have given ourselves of what being creative means to us.

Open yourself to the possibility that you are creative then, look at what you do in your life that you put your own spin on.  Pay attention to the little things, like that spreadsheet you did up that no-one else could figure out how to work it, or that new drink mix you made and have adjusted just to your liking, or that game you play and build in, or the daydreams you have where you have imagined a whole new world for yourself.

There are so many different ways that we are all creative if only you open your eyes to it.  It’s an innate part of us all, we are born creative and we learn to doubt ourselves, to put a dampener on our imaginations for the serious side of life. We learn to hold ourselves back and not let the creative flow take us where it will, except maybe in the privacy of our own heads.

What we have learnt we can also unlearn. If we so choose to lose the limits we have imposed on ourselves and get in touch with our inner child.  I say we should all do so much more often than we allow ourselves!

Re~If things make you happy stay, if they don’t then walk away!

This is so true and very apt for me in my life right now. I know I have personally stuck with many things and people in my life when I ought have let go. I am currently beginning a new phase of my life where I take notice of what makes me happy and I am running with it.

I believe it takes a certain amount of courage to take steps towards letting go of what doesn’t work and embracing what does but that doesn’t mean you need to be confident and unwavering, courage, to use another’s words, is simply taking action despite the existence of fear.

Another wonderful post by Lou, her blog(s), as always, are well worth the read.

Keep smiling all you beautiful people!
~ Penne

Relaxed Soul, Happy Mind

We all strive to be happy, yet why do we so often find ourselves staying in situations that are not bringing us joy and happiness?

Beautiful things start to happen when you distance yourself from negative things, people and thoughts.

I believe too often we stay in a situation as we live in the past; we hold on to those wonderful memories that were indeed wonderful at the time, yet people change, situations alter and nothing ever stays the same.

I believe it is important to keep growing on the inside and out.

What used to make you happy might have changed and if it doesn’t make you happy now, then walk away.

If your heart is not singing you need to find a different tune.

When you find what makes you happy then hold on to it, embrace it and nurture it and do whatever you can to keep it.

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Re~blog: 4 Crucial Steps to Make Your Dream Come True

Reblogged from ‘tiny buddha: simple wisdom for complex lives’

Avatar of Lori Deschene By Lori Deschene

“Don’t be pushed by your problems; be led by your dreams.” ~Unknown

A little over forty-eight hours from now, I’ll be on a plane to Europe where I plan to spend three months traveling (and working) with my boyfriend.

Saturday is the first day of a dream I’ve held for well over a decade.

It was my second year in college when I did my semester abroad, staying in a castle my school owns in The Netherlands.

I was one of less than seventy students there, part of an intimate group that traveled together on three weekend trips to Paris, Amsterdam, and Koln.

Aside from those group excursions, we all had three-day weekends and two full weeks off to travel.

I visited Italy and Spain during my weeks off, but spent most weekends on site, largely due to financial constraints. Still, a weekend doing nothing at a castle in Europe is, in itself, an adventure.

Read more… 1189 more words


As one who aspires to many things and has had certain dreams floating within my mind for more than a decade, Lori’s words of wisdom resonate with me, especially given I am currently in the process of putting some of my postponed plans into action.  What dreams have you had on hold? Are you working towards their fulfillment (and yours) in any way?

~ Penne xo