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Terrific Tips Tuesday


Tueday Tips    20 Tips To Go Green In The Kitchen

Tueday Tips 20 Tips To Go Green In The Kitchen

Easy tips to get more eco-friendly in the kitchen
  • Carole Zellers
Tuesday Tips - The Importance of Self-Care

Tuesday Tips - The Importance of Self-Care

In today’s on-the-go society, taking time for yourself is often looked upon as being selfish or unproductive. You have a job to do, kids to take care of, meals to cook, bills to pay, and the list goes on. How can you possibly justify taking time out for self-care without feeling guilty?

The truth is that without self-care, you’re not giving yourself a fighting chance to give your best to each aspect of your life. If you don’t take care of your own needs first, you’ll find yourself burnt out and struggling in everyday life before you know it.

Shift your perspective and accept that taking time for self-care is key if you truly want to live a productive, happy, and successful life.

Simple Ways to Take Time for Yourself

Finding time to focus on self-care can be difficult, especially with the demands of work and family life. Often, scheduling time before you need it can be a great to way to ensure you don’t skimp on the all-important personal time. Here are a few simple ways to take time for yourself.

Evenings With Yourself

Try to save certain weeknights just for you. If others ask you to do things those nights, just tell them you have plans. Use the time for gardening, reading, exercise, thinking, or the ultimate luxury of doing nothing!

Monthly Treat

Schedule a treat for yourself once a month. It could be on your lunch break, a weekend, or it could be leaving work early. Maybe you get a spa treatment, go see a movie, a haircut, play golf, or whatever treat you’re always thinking about but rarely get to do.

Schedule it in at least a month before to ensure that nothing gets in the way of that time.

Buy Tickets in Advance

Buy tickets for a baseball game, theater production, concert, or any other event you would enjoy. Having the tickets already in hand will force you to make it happen!

Leave Work on Time

This is one of the simplest things you can do when you’re craving personal time. Many of us stay at work late on a regular basis. If this is you, make it a point to leave work exactly on time at least once a week, if not more[3]. And then enjoy that time by participating in your favorite hobby or spending time with a friend you rarely see.

Join a Group

Joining a group can be a great way to include socializing when you take time for yourself. Find a group or club that revolves around an interest or passion of yours or something you’ve been wanting to try. You can find a book club, photography club, or bird watching group. It can be anything that helps you feel rejuvenated.

Take an Adult Education Class

Have you been wanting to learn something new or brush up on something you learned a while back? There are tons of free online classes, and many community colleges also offer free or cheap classes.

You can learn a foreign language, try yoga, or brush up on your painting skills.


For busy people it can be difficult to make time for this, but it’s important to do so. A new habit is started with just one step.

For example, you can walk for 20 minutes in the morning, and then build on that success daily. Vary how you spend that time. On some days use the time for thinking and daydreaming. Other days you can listen to motivational audio, and on days you want a real boost, listen to your favorite music!

However, if you’ve been exercising for a while and usually listen to music, try go without any input for a change. Instead, let your mind wander and expand.

Taking Time for Yourself on the Go

Some of us spend hours commuting to and from work. This can be a great chance to take time for yourself!

Commute Via Public Transportation

If you can, ditch your car and let someone else do the driving. Use that time to plan your day or do some reading, writing, creative thinking, or even meditation.

Driving in Your Car

Make the most of this time, and vary how you spend it. If you always listen to music, perhaps also try educational radio (NPR), audio books

Use that quiet time for brainstorming. Either think in your head or even talk your ideas out loud. Bring a voice recorder. You could write a book via voice recorder over time.

Waiting in the Car

If you find that you have a certain amount of “waiting time” in your life, change how you perceive it. Instead of “waiting time,” you can instantly change it into “free time” by reading a book, writing a to-do list, or practicing meditation.

Two Birds With One Stone

Look for ideas where you can fit in time for you within things you need to do already or that will have multiple benefits. See the ideas below to give you an idea.

Walk to Work

This is a a great one because you’re accomplishing many things at once. You’re getting exercise, you have time to think or enjoy music/audio, and you’re helping to save the environment.

Arrive Early

Any appointment that you have, plan to arrive 15-30 minutes early. Then use this time to sit back and relax with a book or magazine.


There are so many benefits with this. You make a difference for others, escape work and personal worries, and grow as a person. This about what kind of volunteering interests you and find a group to join. It could be environmental, educational, or anything that brings you a sense of purpose.

Eat Lunch Alone

Try sneaking away for a quiet lunch alone on a park bench or even in your car. Enjoy some quiet time with no one to talk to and no distracting noises.

Time Away From Kids

You love your kids, but sometimes you just need a break from parent life. Here are some ideas to help you step away from that role for a bit.

Organize a “Mom’s/Dad’s Morning Out” Circle

If you have a friend or group of friends, you could arrange to share babysitting services a few times a month so that others in the group get some time alone.

Hire a Babysitter

Make a plan to have a babysitter that you trust watch your children once a month or once a week so that you can take time for yourself. Take it a step further and make that a date night or a night you participate in a class or hobby.

Find a Gym With a Babysitting Service

Find a gym that offers childcare so that you can take a yoga class, do some strength training, or even work out with a personal trainer. Make sure you fully research the safety of their childcare program first, though, and get some references if possible.

The Bottom Line

If you feel like you need to take time for yourself and relieve stress, there are many ways to do it. Even if you have a chaotic life where there seems to be only seconds to spare on any given day, it’s possible to carve out time for yourself by simply planning ahead. Make this a monthly occurrence to begin a healthy self-care habit.


#naturalhomebrands #selfcare #tuesdaytips
  • Carole Zellers
Tuesday Tips -  Getting into the Holiday Spirits: Drinking Responsibly

Tuesday Tips - Getting into the Holiday Spirits: Drinking Responsibly

Here are some suggestions for hosting a holiday party or attending one:

  • Offer a variety and abundance of non-alcoholic beverages and make them highly visible and easily accessible;
  • Carole Zellers
Tuesday Tips - Holiday Stress Reducers

Tuesday Tips - Holiday Stress Reducers

13 Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress
  • Carole Zellers
Tuesday Tips  Easy sustainable swaps for Christmas

Tuesday Tips Easy sustainable swaps for Christmas

Easy sustainable swaps for Christmas
  • Carole Zellers
Tuesday Tips - A Cozy Fire - 10 tips for eco-friendly fireplace use

Tuesday Tips - A Cozy Fire - 10 tips for eco-friendly fireplace use

What is sustainable heating?
>Wood is a more sustainable fuel than fossil fuel. This is because wood emits less CO2 during combustion and because wood is not a finite fuel but can regrow. Burning wood nevertheless still affects the environment. Eco-friendly use therefore means taking into account the environment and our fellow man. There are three main ways to accomplish this:
- Causing as little smoke as possible, since the smoke contains soot/particulates.
- Producing as little CO2 as possible by burning the wood as completely as possible.
- For a properly burning fire, use as little wood as possible and simultaneously create as much heat radiation as possible (efficiency).
Eco-friendly fireplace use comes down to making a well-burning, steady fire as quickly as possible and keeping the fire burning well. This releases as little soot and CO2 as possible, and the wood consumption is as efficient as possible. The emissions of soot and CO2 together are called the emissions.
Eco-friendly fireplace use means being thoughtful in the use of the fireplace.
Tips for eco-friendly fireplace use
1. Make sure there is enough oxygen
Make sure there is enough oxygen in the room for the combustion of the wood. This can be a problem in well-insulated homes. Then there is an under-pressure, due to lack of oxygen. To ensure this, open a ventilation grille or a window (temporarily). An extraction hood can also create an under-pressure. It should be turned off.
2. Ensure a good draft
Ensure a good draft in the fireplace by:
- Having the chimney checked and cleaned at least once a year.
- Use the upside down method (or Swiss method) for lighting, so that the chimney warms quickly, and a good draft is created
- Raise the fire a bit above the ground, using a fire basket or andirons and a fire grate. This allows air to get under the fire. If necessary, elevate the fire basket or the andirons with bricks if there is still insufficient air under the fire.
- Lower the top of the opening of the fireplace. This will bring the air flow closer to the fire, and the fire will burn better. For this purpose, a strip of fireproof glass, fabric or sheet iron of 15-20 cm can be attached to the top of the opening of the fireplace. The potential effect of this can be tested by, for example, temporarily applying a piece of plasterboard to the top of the fireplace.
If these solutions do not help create a better draft, then professional solutions may be sought. Options include installing an air vent near the fireplace, placing a fan in or on the chimney, or improving the flue.
3. Burn with good firewood
Burn with good firewood by:
- Only burn with wood that has dried for at least two years. With wet wood, it is difficult to get good combustion going and to keep it going.
- Light the fire with kindling, firelighters and wood blocks (see the Swiss method for lighting below). For the logs, use slow-burning woods such as oak, beech, birch and wood from fruit trees. Another disadvantage of fast-burning woods such as poplar, pine, willow and alder is that many sparks are produced by these types of wood.
- Do not use resins or painted or impregnated wood. This type of wood has much higher emissions. Do not use paper for lighting or boosting the fire. Paper burning also has higher emissions.
4. Ensure proper combustion
Monitor proper combustion by paying attention to keeping the fire burning so that there is as little smoke as possible. A good fire can be recognized by steady, yellow flames. Orange flames and dark smoke indicate that the combustion is not good.
- Use fire tools to keep the fire burning, such as tongs or a poker. Shift and move the wood in time to keep enough oxygen supplied to the fire.
- Add air to the fire on time with a blow poke or blow poker. A blow poke works much better than bellows.
- Put new logs on the fire in time.
5. Burn a steady fire
Burn a steady fire, put a maximum of two blocks of wood on the fire to keep the fire burning
6. Keep an ash bed
Keep an ash bed for insulation from cold from the fireplace floor. This creates better combustion. Make sure on the one hand that the fire is lifted from the ground to guarantee air under the fire. And at the same time, make sure not all the ash is removed, since the ash keeps the fire warm and results in better combustion.
7. Use firewood from your own area
Buy firewood from your own area. Moving wood over large distances costs a lot of fossil fuel.
8. Use a cast iron fireback
Place a cast iron fireback against the back wall of the fireplace. The heat radiation is thus increased by 50%. The thicker the fireback, the more and the longer the heat radiation. A thick fireback is often still warm the next morning. Firebacks are available in all shapes and sizes.
9. Do not use the fireplace when there is no breeze or it is foggy
Do not burn the fireplace when there is no breeze or it is foggy, since then the smoke can linger and cause local air pollution.
10. Use the upside down method (or Swiss method) for lighting
Many people think that the fire burns from the bottom up. They therefore lay the lighting material (sticks, blocks and paper) at the bottom and place the logs on top. Swiss research has shown that there is a better combustion of the firewood if the fire is ignited from top to bottom. This causes heat to rise quickly and to warm the flue. The heat in the flue automatically creates a draft in the fireplace, which causes the fire to ignite quickly. It works like this:
1. Place two or three wood blocks, not too big, on the fireplace floor or on the fire grate. Leave some space between the blocks.
2. Lay three layers of kindling crosswise on the blocks and on each other.
3. Place two lighter or starter blocks on the middle layer of the kindling.
4. Light the lighter blocks.
#naturalhomebrands #fireplace #cozy #ecofriendly #tuesdaytips
  • Carole Zellers