Who Lives In The Woods? (part 2) – Eco Explorers Magnifying Life

Another wonderful adventure to the woods was certainly afoot after my Sons’ Aunt gifted these amazing eco toy magnifying glasses to them.

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How adorable are these! We all wrapped up ready to embrace the cold then we clipped together the new lanyards and I hung them around the boys’ neck ready to zoom in on nature. They absolutely love their new gifts and the boys made the most fabulously cute little explorers I have ever seen!

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Down the path glorified by Norway Maples we began our expedition. What would we find?

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Before we had reached the entrance to the woods we showed some love to the Maple trees that had breathed us life for the past year and whom stood ever humble as the last of their leaves were swept away by the fast approaching chill of Winter.

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It was definitely fascinating for the boys getting a close up of the huge roots and of the overgrowing tree stump belonging to the old tree we watched being felled back in the Summer. There was also some beautiful leaves and green moss to be examined which looked awesome magnified.

Into the woods, greeted by a mushy entrance we squelched through the mud and decided it would be much more fun off the beaten track…

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…we hopped (well tried to) over a ‘sleeping tree’ and that was amusing in itself…

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…and onto the Ivy lands!

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The ground below our feet overlaid with Ivy and a coating of dried crisp leaves was a welcomed change in texture. It was captivating to acknowledge how the Earth uses different life forms and materials to blanket itself.

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After passing under an archway of trees that seemed as if they were reaching across trying to gain closure of the woods from the construction site, we took a mini bypass.

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Back in the baby forest we were greeted by a grand presence of majestic trees. The boys are always amazed by the sheer size of these wonders (me too!). We admired the arches and hollows getting up close to inspect the algae and to take a deeper peek into the life of a tree!

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Through the woods we encountered some truly mesmerizing takes on nature when looking on a magnified level. We found different fungi which were not surprisingly very beautiful when a moment is taken to fully appreciate the fine artwork that has actually gone into them.

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Next it was time to (carefully) lift up a log to to discover what lay beneath! There was not a lot to gaze at if I am totally honest, it must have been too cold for even the bugs to be out although what we did find was amazing. Wow! Upon lifting the old log we were instantly greeted by shiny centipedes which noticing us scurried away but not before I captured these pictures! There were baby roots sprouting all around and a few woodlice that sadly escaped the photograph.

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It was  deeply fascinating for me to see the natural decay of leaves also buried beneath the log. The leaves they were divinely pressed into the Earth’s surface, compacted into whichever they came into contact with by the above weight and it gifted me an awakened view to the nature of true biodegradable matter.

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The leaf, to me, on a deeper level was strikingly attractive too, the mass of its surface gently disintegrating leaving the fine fractal veins that soon will become nourishment for the nearby wildlife. I was immensely captivated – perhaps a bit too much as the little ones had lost interest and were heading out of the woods, over the field to the nearby park. They are at that fun-for-half-an-hour age, not like Mummy who is at the spend-the-rest-of-my-life in the woods age 😉

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This is a great way for children to learn about nature by getting a closer view on it. It is an awesome starting point on how mini beasts live and about what happens down in the roots of life. It turns a walk through the woods into a magical adventure for a child and as a parent I highly recommend you too get a magnifying glass and turn your child into an eco explorer !

A simply wonderful way to spend time outdoors.

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HOMEMADE NATURAL LAUNDRY WASHING POWDER

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Yes, yes, yes, I did it…finally got it right 🙂

My fabrics are clean and smell awesome. Yay! More importantly the powder is safe and free of dangerous chemicals!
The recipe below is homemade and all natural and it’s definitely been worth the wait.
After months of trying I have found the perfect laundry detergent recipe and I am so happy to share it with You!
Upon discovering how dangerous the advertised store bought washing powders and liquids actually are, with their harsh chemical ingredients that are ridiculously hard to pronounce, I got really upset at the thought of what I was allowing next to my children’s skin and decided enough was enough. How cool is the notion of home-crafting your own anyway? Very cool and really very satisfying knowing you know exactly what’s being used and the fact that it works just rocks! Ok so the store bought brands have a high potency of fragrance and are really really really cheap but they are not natural and far from eco-friendly, in my eyes it’s just not worth it, that is my babies skin I am putting those deadly chemicals on. The system over time has lured us in to just buy whatever is mainstream and has some how numbed our minds to not even question what we are buying even though the list of oddly named ingredients is plain to see, people just do not seem to care, playing ignorance and some people really are that stupid to not even think twice, only caring about price. Not this Muma.

If we think about the impact we are having on earth and the water supply by flooding it with these poisons then we are able to see how we are carelessly destroying the only place we have to live, our true source of life. Do we want to live on a totally poisoned world? That is the way it is heading unless more people wake up, quick. Eventually we will have corrupted our Mother Earth so much we won’t have grass to stand on.
One by one we can stop this mass destruction and try to create a natural clean and green world. It may take a while but why would we want to pollute our planet when we really do not need to. Eco-warriors need to lead the way by example, reaching out to others and through guidance, helping everyone to understand the damage we are actually doing and how easy it is to make these changes. You don’t need to be a wacky scientist or have a state of the art laboratory (that would be nice though), just a few natural ingredients, a grater, a spoon, a cup and a tub!

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To have the pleasure and satisfaction of making your very own washing powder you will require:

Ingredients:

1 cup Organic Lavender & Chamomile Essential Oils infused Soap Bar
1 cup High Grade Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda)
1 cup High Grade Sodium Carbonate (Washing Soda)
1 cup High Grade Citric Acid
1 cup High Grade Dead Sea Salt
½ cup Organic White Wine Vinegar

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Once you have acquired all the ingredients you will require:

The method:

1) Acquire a cup for measuring, a cheese or soap grater, a bowl to mix it together in or an airtight tub to mix / store it in and turn on the washing machine
2) Simply grate a bar of soap to fill your cup using the grater
3) Measure out the Sodium Bicarb, Sodium Carbonate, Citric Acid and Sea Salt into equal parts to each other and to the soap (1 cup)
4) Combine these all together in the bowl / tub and mix very thoroughly being very careful not to gust the powders up your nose or you will sneeze (every time!)
5) Use 1 cup of finished mixture to add to the laundry in the machine
6) Add the additional ½ – 1 cup of white wine vinegar to further freshen and soften
7) Set the machine and move on to your next job!

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Tips:

– You can make your own Sodium Carbonate from Sodium Bicarbonate by popping it in the oven for 30 minutes and baking it at around 200 Celsius. You must mix it regularly whilst its baking or it will harden and although the lumps can be broken down its better to keep it as fine as possible so it will mix well in this recipe once it has cooled. Alternatively you can buy it ready-made (purchase at great prices from Intralabs.co,uk).
– I recommend using a richly infused with essential oils soap bar. You can use a plain base soap and then add oils afterwards although using a scented bar helps the oils to be distributed evenly through the mixture. Adding oils to the mix afterwards makes it difficult to ensure you get the oil in each dose you add to the fabrics as it clumps up and may only reach one load leaving all the other loads scent free (not good!) + it requires a lot of drops
– When grating the soap I used a grade size that would give me a larger consistency of shavings (there is just something I like about the idea of large slithers of soap knocking into my fabrics). Next time I will attempt a smaller grade so the soap is distributed more.
-The soap tends to ‘run off’ together in the tub and separate from the powders so it is essential you stir thoroughly before using the mixture each time to gain maximum even distribution.
– Before I was stupidly using borax as a main ingredient from a recipe of unreliable source, cross reference is very important. I DO NOT recommend using borax. Just because it’s natural it does not mean it’s good for you! Borax is a major irritant to skin, it causes nappy rash and it can choke you up in an instant if you use it without a mask. I would recommend you keep it away from contact with skin. It is great for abrasive cleaning though i.e. the toilet or the sink!
– Don’t be under the impression that the vinegar will hold its potency through the wash taking over the scent of the oils. This is not the case; you cannot smell it at all in the final product. It is added for softness!

I’m so glad I can finally post this article, seriously so happy to have done this. Bring on the Lab! I hope you enjoy this recipe, good luck and thanks for reading my posts 🙂

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