Monday, March 30, 2015

8 Ways To Jump Into Spring!

I don't know about you, but this Winter of 2015 has been a really tough Winter! We have had SO. MUCH. SNOW, and it has been SO COLD!

I am ready for Spring!

(This is a photo I snapped of my father's garden Spring 2014)

I thought I would share some of my family's ideas inspired by tips from the new Living magazine on "Getting the Most Out of the Spring Season" on pages 16-17.

Here are your 8 Ways to Jump Into Spring!

1. Make A Plan

Grab a pen and start writing down the things you would like to accomplish this Spring. Are you going to tackle a garden this year, or maybe try a new method of planting tomatoes? Write it down and set some goals! Other items on your list might be clean out the garage, or maybe you're going to be adventurous and build a chicken coop like us! Whatever project you have been dreaming of, make a list and develop a plan, or it won't happen.

2. Declutter and Organize

Every home will feel brand new with a bit of clutter removed and better organization. In our family with seven kids this is our biggest issue, clutter and lack of organization, but I'm working on it!
Shoes, muddy boots, Spring jackets mixed in with snow pants (are we really going to need these again next week?!), along with toys and homeschool clutter, ugh! My new motto after having baby number seven became this:

"If you come to my home and it's clean, you are blessed. You are a special guest! If you come to my home and it's messy, you are blessed. You are family!

However, I really do enjoy living in a clean home ALL THE TIME! Our new essential way of living has truly inspired me to tackle this daily chore of cleaning and organizing one small project at a time.

Here are a few of my favorite natural cleaner recipes you can try for yourself at home.

Floor Cleaner

10 drops of Melaleuca essential oil
1/4 cup Castile soap
1/4 cup Baking Soda
Mix in a bucket of water and mop.

Multi-Purpose Cleaner

12 Drops of any citrus essential oil
4 tsp white vinegar
Water to fill a 16-20 oz spray bottle

3. Garden

Did you know that gardening can actually fight stress? A recent study in the Netherlands suggests gardening fights stress better than ANY OTHER activity! Get the whole family involved! Don't think you have land and space to garden? Try container gardening on your sunniest entryway! Start from seeds or buy seedlings from your local market and get to work. A pair of gloves is a great place to begin getting your hands in the dirt. I like to buy special kid gloves for my kids each Spring. It really inspires them to get in the dirt WITH me and garden. With their own gloves they feel special and equipped for the task at hand. What worker wouldn't want to do better work when equipped with the right tools, right? Maybe even some toy shovels and hoes to inspire creativity too!

Forgot to bring your gloves to your gardening task? Don't worry, living naturally doesn't mean you have to have dirty hands all the time. Try this recipe for cleaning your hands after a day of gardening with the family.

Gardener's Hand Soap

1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup castile soap
2 TB Fractionated Coconut Oil
1 tsp Vitamin E
15 drops of Geranium essential oil

4. Eat Better

Spring is a fabulous time to check out local farmer's markets for fresh produce. Why not make an effort to try a new vegetable and learn about its health benefits for your body. Learn about how your body absorbs nutrients and understand why supplements can be a great way to improve your health overall. Try a new method of cooking an old vegetable. Did you know you can take a turnip and slice it into french fry sticks and bake them with a little coconut oil and sea salt and they taste AMAZING?!

(These are my turnip fries. I added paprika for extra flavor and health benefits so they look a little over done, but trust me, these were so good!)

5. Get Active!

The weather is warming up, make the effort to get outside even if you still need to bring a light coat. Spring offers us so many health benefits. The ground is waking up and the smells of the earth and new flowers bursting forth can be wonderful for your body. By getting outside and getting moving we can reduce stress, have better sleep, find balance, and improve our creativity and memory! Be a good example for your kids! Put down the mobile devices and grab a ball or bike and have FUN! Just 30 minutes of activity every day three times a week can have significant benefits for your overall health. 

6. Open The Windows

We've been cooped up all Winter, it's time to open up those windows and let the fresh air in! Try out this natural window cleaner as you prepare to open up those windows. It just may inspire you to buy some flowers and bring a little color into your home. Bring Spring to you even if the weather looks like Spring is a long way off. You'll be surprised at how quickly everyone's moods will change with a little bit of fresh air and flowers!

Window Cleaner

Mix 1 cup of water 
1 cup of White Vinegar
in a spray bottle.
Add 15 drops of Lemon essential oil

7. Take Advantage of the Longer Days

Spring means longer days and more sunlight. How will you capture this lovely time of year and bring health to your family? Did you know how beneficial sunlight is to your health? It not only can improve your mood but it also can increase energy levels and improve your overall health. Free Vitamin D anyone?  Take a walk, have a tea party outside, sweep the yard, or just go for a drive and find a park and let the kids run and play in the sunshine!

8. Diffuse Essential Oils

This may be the last item on the list but it certainly is not the LEAST in my opinion! Diffusing essential oils for health has become a very important part of our daily lives. We diffuse oils to fight colds, open airways for better breathing, improve our moods and study habits, and we even diffuse essential oils for better sleep! Here are some wonderful blends for you to try diffusing in your own home to bring Spring inside!

3 Drops Geranium
5 Drops Grapefruit
2 Drops Lime

3 Drops Fennel
5 Drops Wild Orange

6 Drops Lavender

3 Drops Geranium
4 Drops Wild Orange

6 Drops Lemon

4 Drops Geranium
2 Drops Peppermint

Happy Spring!

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This post is linked up over at Moms the Word...   and Making Your Home Sing Monday Link-up!
Check out some of the other great blogs on all things homemaking!

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