Happy St. Patrick's Day - Seachtain Na Gaeilge! March 16 2021, 0 Comments
Seachtain na Gaeilge is the biggest Irish language and culture celebration festival. St. Patrick's Day brings the celebrations to end, but we intend to continue in the spirit of the festival.
Over the past weeks as beginner learners and re-learners, we have been celebrating Seachtain na Gaeilge and reflecting on why we think it is important to use Irish language and how we can include Irish more in our business and daily life.
We relocated our HQ to Carna in Connemara over a year ago and we have been incredibly grateful to be surrounded by the Irish Language, landscape, history and culture here.
Carna is in a strong Gaeltacht region, with English being the second language spoken.
We added our first Irish language label to one of our products in 2020 and we look forward to adding more in the near future.
For St. Patrick's day please enjoy 50% discount off the Leacht Níocháin online.
The Irish language is a beautiful language that describes the history, and the fact that the people's lifestyle was very close to nature.
Learning Irish is a great opportunity to connect with the identity of the Irish people and to Irish culture.
Irish is unique to Ireland and is recorded to be one of the oldest and most historic written languages in the world.
The third oldest written literature in Western Europe was in the Irish language with records of Irish lyric poetry dating from 700 AD. That is thanks to St. Patrick who started the golden era of christianity in Ireland and Ireland became the centre of monasteries, scholars and scribers.
Irish is the fastest growing language on Duolingo in Ireland and the language is popular outside the island with more than 5.6 million users on the platform learning Irish around the globe. There is even now an official Gaeltacht in Ontario Canada!
Seachtain na Gaeilge has been a great time to use Irish whether you have a cúpla focal or are a complete beginner, there are a multitude of resources out there to get you learning and it has been really fun.
Why not say Thank you, or Merci or Grazie or Kiitos or Tack also in Irish - Go raibh maith agat - it's a great way to add Irish in to our daily life.
Did you know that the Irish word for spider ‘damhán alla’ translates to 'wall demon' and that there are 21 words in Irish for hole and 32 words for field. To find out more check Manchán Magan's book 32 words for field.
You can now even watch the Spongebob movie on Netflix as Gaeilge!
Tosaigh ag cothú na Gaeilge i do shaol…agus féach uirthi ag fás!
Plant the seed of Irish in your life and watch it grow!
Nikki Moans March 2021
IMBOLC - Spring has Sprung February 01 2021, 0 Comments
It feels as if it has been a very long cold winter but now we look forward to celebrating Imbolc to mark the arrival of spring. There is lot’s to look forward to including longer brighter evenings, warmer weather, new life in nature and getting out into the garden again.
Photo by Alena Koval on Pexels.com
From Feb 1st to February 2nd the traditional festival Imbolc, also celebrated as St.Brigids day, marks the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.
The day is celebrated in many ways including:
- Feasts/special meals
- Visiting streams rivers and wells
- Spring cleaning
- Lighting candles
- Sowing the first seeds such as sweet peas and early potatoes
- The International Imbolc Festival has been held for the last 5 years in Derry Northern Ireland
- Bonfires and hearthfires (Fire and purification are a very important part of the celebrations)
- Making Brigid’s crosses and Brídeógs
St. Brigid's cross
The Saint Brigid's cross was thought to keep evil, fire and hunger from the home in which it was displayed. The newly made Brigid's cross was displayed and the cross from the year before burned.
St. Brigid's cross is a lovely decoration for the spring, and if it does all the above, well that is a nice bonus.
To make your own Crosóg Bhríde / Brigid's Cross, head over to Nine arrow on Instagram and watch her lovely video.
You can use rushes, drinking straws or colourful paper as seen in the video here Make a St.Brigids cross
Photo still from Ninearrow Youtube
Whether you are making a delicious traditional Colcannon or a Brigid’s cross this February 1st we wish you a Happy and Healthy Imbolc.
Nikki Moans January 2021
Athbhliain faoi mhaise duit! Go raibh míle maith agat! Happy New Year and Thank You! January 08 2021, 0 Comments
2020 has definitely been a strange and challenging year for everyone.
As we move forward into 2021 in hope for better times and despite the still ongoing interruption to what we would like as normal life, we would like to say a big thank you.
Thank you for continuing to support us throughout the year and for choosing healthy and sustainable products, supporting an Irish small business and shopping local.
There are so many important reasons to keep supporting many local businesses especially now. Here are some of them:
- Shopping locally creates what is called a local multiplier effect. Simplified it means that say, every €100 spent in the local economy is actually worth €500, once the taxes, re-spending by employees etc. takes place as a result from your original purchase.
- Choosing Irish products will reduce carbon emissions, packaging and waste. Although the reality is that ingredients, parts etc. are imported in some cases, the final product being made here will be a more sustainable option.
- You are supporting local jobs and creating sustainable employment .
- You are preserving our unique, cultural and creative communities.
So it is worth it for all of us to keep on supporting local businesses and why not? Ireland is abundant with high quality food producers, makers and shops creating wonderful products for everyday use, personal care and of course to eat.
Why not try these other online suppliers as an example, and if you wish to add to the list please comment below:
- Three Hills Soap:
- Green Earth Organics
- The filling station ecostore Galway
- An Garrai Glas
- Siopa Dowd
Nikki Moans January 2021
For Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend - Keep calm and clean on - 6 steps to keep your home cosy and indoor air fresh November 28 2020, 0 Comments
It is hopefully coming towards the end of the lockdown and we can start getting ready for Christmas, whatever it will look like this year. It is dark and we are still spending more time home working and, well, not going anywhere. It remains important more than ever to make sure our surroundings are clean and that we have good air quality indoors to breath.
Indoor pollution sources and inadequate ventilation can cause poor indoor air quality.
Aerosol, plug-in and synthetic air fresheners, cigarette smoke and burning paraffin wax and synthetically fragranced candles can all contribute to toxic indoor environments.
Some of the cleaning products used daily, and lately in vast quantities, are one of the most common causes of indoor air pollution. The fat soluble molecules in them can enter directly into our lungs, and trigger asthma, allergies and weaken our immune system. Breathing in these chemicals can result in headaches and other symptoms even affecting our mental health. Occasionally it is ok to sterilise with these products, but continuous use can end up being more harm than benefit, even at this time.
Our mission has always been to offer alternative products that will have great effect but not circulate these toxic fumes. Your daily and healthy home hygiene is achieved and you can breathe freely.
6 steps to keep your home cosy and indoor air fresh:
- A good declutter. Remove unnecessary clutter and tidy up - it will be extremely beneficial and has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep and boost productivity. It also makes it much easier to get daily cleaning tasks done. Decluttering will really open up your space making it more peaceful and inviting. There are many methods and guidelines like Kon Mari method, or remove one a day, whatever works for you. Keep what you love, remove what you don’t.
- Regularly dust and vacuum to keep dust and pet hair to a minimum.
- Use bleaches and other biocide antibacterial products less and do your regular cleaning with for example Lilly’s to keep everything fresh and clean.
- Switch to healthier more sustainable options for fragrance, like soy, naturally fragranced or beeswax candles and essential oils to create a relaxing atmosphere and scent your home. Burning Beeswax candles ionizes the air in your home which can help to clear toxins suspended in the air. They give off a light that is in the same spectrum as the sun, creating a perfect ambience for a relaxing bath, meditation, reading and perfect for the dinner table.
- Open curtains/blinds and windows during the day to allow daylight in and fresh air to circulate.
- Bring the outdoors inside with some houseplants. Caring for them will boost your mood and help to improve the air you breathe. Pots of herbs in the kitchen will give fragrance and actual food, Aloe plant in the bedroom releases a lot of oxygen at night. Snake plants, spider plants and Dracaena are low maintenance attractive plants that will improve the air as well as boost your mood and concentration.
So at this lockdown black friday cyber monday time, clean and tidy for the coming season and for more comfort.
We wish you all the best, and thank you all for continuing to wash hands, wear masks, and stay in.
Do you have any tips - comment and share your pictures with us on how you have made your home a healthier, cleaner haven at this time.
Tag us on social media or send us a message with your images!Nikki Moans, November 2020
5 ways how cleaning will help with your new year health resolutions January 03 2018, 0 Comments
Yes, you read it correctly: Cleaning will help with your Health resolutions.
Cleaning has surprisingly positive effects to any healthy living efforts. If you used to think that it is was a chore to be avoided - think again.
The truth is that a clean and orderly home is a huge part of Healthy Living and will contribute to achieving your goals.
Here are 5 very ideas on how to get started:
1. Decluttering and cleaning will clear your mind and help you to focus on your goals
Think about it, if your training gear is chuffed with everything else in the wardrobe when you want to exercise, is that motivating? Or the area for doing a yoga is full of clutter and dust - will you achieve tranquility? How do you achieve your eating goals with a fridge full of temptation? Or you are still used to smoking or vaping in the house instead of breathing pure clean air?
What will be the level of success if you want to change some habits but not the environment?
Do a good declutter, get help from professional organisers or try the KonMari method (authors no1. recommendation for organising and decluttering, not affiliated, more information https://konmari.com/ ).
Create space for your new life, let go off the old and focus on your goals.
Photo by Avrielle Suleiman on Unsplash
2. Clean air and surfaces are healthier in general
Dust is pollution. A lot of it can create a home for dust mites which love to munch on human skin cells (largely contributing to dust). Dust mites then can cause sensitivities. Airborne dust and other air pollutants on the other hand can enter our respiratory system. Compared to our digestive system, our respiratory system has limited protection against various small molecules.
Enough motivation to keep your home dust free? It is healthier to do so. Avoid using feathered dusters as they make it airborne. Use a good general dusting all purpose spray and wipe it off. Diluted washing up liquid and cloth are also effective.
You can literally feel the improvement.
Photo by Thomas Hafeneth on Unsplash
3. Swap your cleaning chemicals
As we discussed earlier about the airborne molecules entering in to our respiratory system and straight into our bodies - same goes with the chemicals we use.
So for once and for all, if you mostly use the typical industrial type chemicals with quite generous amount of perfumes, you might consider trialling alternative options. These are typically labelled eco friendly etc. and any of them is a better option for your health goals than the main stream chemicals.
We cannot address this enough.
4. Clean Your Kitchen
No matter what your Health goals are otherwise the kitchen plays a big part of it and keeping it clean will help with your New Years Healthy goals.
Re organise your newly cleaned kitchen so that your health goal equipment (smoothie blenders, juicers, steamers) are at easy access and the not so healthy equipment are moved to 'rarely used' location or removed completely. These simple cleaning tasks and relocation will help you to achieve your goals.
Also pay attention to signs that may require attention due to potential health risk: brown slime growth in the sink or fridge indicating bacteria growth, greasy dust over the extractor hood, dirty oven.
Photo by Alison Marras on Unsplash
5. Cleaning your sport gear
You have probably done the first step of every New Years health resolutions - bought new gear. That's fair enough.
Cleaning them correctly will help to increase their lifespan so follow these principles:
Do not use fabric softener on any technical sports gear, especially lycra and such stretch materials will be destroyed with the use of fabric softener.
Use milder Non biological detergent on technical and outdoor gear. The enzymes and other stain removers, zeolites, brighteners, and possibly bleach of the stronger detergent are there to break down and remove various types of molecules, and so they will do for your specialist gear improvements.
Milder non biological detergent will clean, but not destroy the technical benefits of rain shield, odour removers etc.
Photo by Joshua Ness on Unsplash
We hope these steps will be helpful to you in creating a new cleaning routine - a healthier lifestyle routine.
Health - Home - Planet
8 Ways to reduce waste with home cleaning. October 15 2017, 0 Comments
This is a double whammy - simple steps to reduce waste at home and keep your home amazing.
1. Use Refillable Products.
Only buy products you can refill and re use after. This also means that you will be changing your cleaning chemicals to better, less toxic and environmentally friendly chemicals.
2. Understand that every small step counts and adds up.
Whether you refill in store, use pouch refills or buy larger refills every now and then - it all adds up, there is no wrong way of doing this.
3. Keep your Plastic Equipment clean and re use them
If you still use plastic dish brushes etc. clean and disinfect them regularly, for example you can wash them in a dishwasher. Good quality plastic equipment will last forever in use so keep them hygienic.
4. Use fabric cloths and wash them in the washing machine
Avoid microfibres as they also pollute the oceans. Why not make cleaning cloths of old cotton towels and t-shirts and keep washing them in between.
5. Use compostable and biodegradable tools.
Such as wood and natural fibres. If using wipes, make sure they are 'flushable' i.e compostable, not plastic. Or make your own.
6. Try some Cooking Chemicals for Cleaning
Baking soda or Bread Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda, or Sodium Bicarbonate) is excellent for many cleaning tasks. Try vinegar to clean glass and mirrors. Use Natural Essential Oils for Fragrance.
7. De Clutter
Do it swiftly and only keep the items you love the most (try the Konmari Method if you find it hard). Keep everyday things with reusable purpose. Make a rule to Refuse unnecessary purchases, e.g repetitive bottle purchase. Generally buy things that have a specific purpose, project, place.
8. Love your Clean, Sustainable Home
Enjoy the cleaning effect of carefully selected, sustainable chemicals.
Enjoy the healthy benefits of a clean and detoxed home.
Feel proud of all the small waste reducing steps you can make.
Photo by Daiga Ellaby
Boots Mother & Infant Awards Recognition for Lilly's October 14 2017, 0 Comments
Lilly's Non Bio Laundry won Silver for Best Family Detergent, Lilly's Dishwasher Tablets won Bronze for Best Family Detergent and Lilly's Washing Up Liquid won Bronze for the Best Family Cleaning Product.
It is amazing to receive this recognition as the main part was user testing - by the Mothers. We strongly believe that Lilly's is a brand for every family so this is very important to us and thank from the bottom of our green hearts.
At the event there were many awards that humbled us even more and the product awards just seemed so insignicant in comparison. The Child Hero, The Midwife of the Year, The Miracle Baby, The Mum of the Year, The Early Educator of the Year - all of the winners are amazing people working hard or who have conquered some very hard experiences. We wish to extend our Congratulations to all of the People Award Winners.
Zero Waste Lessons from my Granny August 22 2017, 0 Comments
My Granny Helka was the No 1. environmentalist I have known.
She was living the Zero Waste life out of necessity and common sense, it was more about saving money than getting rid of waste. I suppose packaging at the time would have been new and fancy, before it all got out of control. For saving money or saving planet here are some of the practical things I remember:
Plastic Bags: Helka cut them in strips and crochet or knitted them in to rugs for the hallway floor or utility room floors. Seriously.
Glass bottles: Helka washed the bottles and used them to store home made berry and fruit cordial for the winter months. The ones with screw tops were used to bring milk in for lunch.
Helka’s Tips: Butter wrapping (foil, like Irish butter wrapping): Used as like aluminium foil to cover up cooked food in the fridge or when re heating.
Plastic containers with lid: always washed and re-used for food storage and freezing.
Yogurt pots were washed, stored and used for planting seeds in the spring.
Bread bags: used as sandwich wrappers for lunches.
She grew vegetables, foraged, fixed and mended old. She is not unique, I am sure your Granny and Grandad had similar tips. We can learn a lot from the previous generations for the benefit of the future generations, and for our own Zero Waste Efforts.
So anyone up for crochet rugs out of plastic bags? Maybe, maybe not, but we can make better choices tackling the waste problem without loosing our love of convenience either.
Here’s to our best efforts towards Zero Waste living, please comment and share here your Granny’s or Grandad’s tips that we could benefit in our daily life. Feel free to post images of your crochet plastic bag rugs too :)