When life gets in the way

 When life gets in the way

There was I, with every good intention, starting out on the 30 Day Blogging challenge. I did wonder if I was a little foolish starting out in my busiest week of the year!! Then life got in the way! I’m social media manager for my church, my Rotary group, several paying clients as well as for my own businesses, Wightbuzz, AllthingsNetworking.com (with my son)  Lyn’s Green Biz, and Lyn Blackledge Independent Phoenix Trader . I was also giving a lot of my time to another voluntary project.

I have always undertaken a lot of voluntary work. However, I don’t expect to be verbally abused for giving of my time and effort free. When I found myself faced with 5 other volunteers who saw fit to shout at me – I took stock.  Much as I had loved working on the project for well over a year using much time and effort and raising a considerable amount of funds with my friend, I decided that it was time to take a break. We were all supposed to be part of the same team – volunteers – helping those less fortunate. This wasn’t the first time this happened but this time I had had enough.  The accusations were unnecessary and unfounded. Sadly, all too often the old green eye works its way in. My social media skills had done much for the project. Obviously too much for some folk. I did suggest that we sit and talk like grown ups – unfortunately the main culprit couldn’t even bring herself to answer me directly.  I was sad at first then realised that my own health is the most important. If I don’t take care of myself, there is no way I can look after others.

I was watching my grandaughters’ dancing – they were dancing to a song from the very popular Disney film, Frozen. There, I had it . Instead of feeling bad, I just had to  LET IT GO!

 

Since I made that decision, life has improved. I celebrated the New Year last night with family and friends having  made the decision to  start the new year in very positive mode. So far, so good. I have had a very productive day achieving far more in one day than I have for a long time.

Decluttering – tick, paperwork tick, videos made tick, listening to some very soothing tapes tick. decision to tackle the weight problem tick, plotting and planning for the portfolio of businesses I run – tick. Restart the exercise regime too – tick.

So as for the rubbish in my life – LET IT GO . Sometimes you really do need to stop and take stock. So 2015 you WILL be an awesome year.

 

 

 

 

The Giggly Grannies – Part 2

Following on from my previous post, the Giggly grannies (aka Lyn Blackledge thats me- Giggly Granny 1 and Julie Jordan – Giggly Granny 2) continued to giggle together as our friendship grew. There was so much that made us giggle. We went to a Mexican evening complete with Mexican hats and moustaches!!! Sadly I cant find that picture.

We dressed in red white and blue for the jubilee and various celebrations our church held.

 

We had so much fun.   Then in October 2011, my van broke down and required over a thousand pounds worth of work. It was money I didn’t have. What I did have was a bus pass and so I decided to get rid of the van and travel FREE on the buses. I thought it would be fun to write the diary of an eco granny but not long into this new way of travelling, I began to lose the will to live!! So many of my journeys ended up stressing me out  that I started to tweet [email protected] I wasn’t rude but used more of a jokey way to alert them that all was not well – for example @Southernvectis I think the number 9 driver is late for his tea etc. The bus drivers drove too fast, shut doors in my face, drove past me at the stop, didn’t stop when I rang the bell and shouted at me. Not only was I unhappy about this for myself but for others and for our holiday Island! This wouldn’t do much for our tourist industry if families without cars experienced the same as I had. Why on earth would they return? After a short while, my tweets got a response and Matt Kitchin, the general manager of Southern Vectis invited me to come in and have a chat., He was very keen to hear my story and see what could be done. By this time, my Giggly Granny friend (though on some occasions not so giggly granny) had shared some of her scary stories on the bus with me. Well, having been welcomed by Matt and explaining some of the issues, I decided the Giggly Grannies could go on the buses and report back and thus we became officially The Giggly Grannies. I then went to tell Julie as I thought it would be good if she was party to this news!! The idea appealed to her as much as to me and we have been out on several journeys since although I have since been given a car by my son. We havestarted to report back the good and the bad. We are always keen to share the good stories and make sure we always get the drivers name where possible. We carry chocolate smiles with us (available from Thorntons ;) ) For grumpy drivers we give them a smile as they don’t have their own and for smiley drivers we reward them :) Having thus created the Giggly Grannies officially now, we decided that we should use it for more than just reporting back to the general manager of Southern Vectis and so we now use the brand for several purposes. 3 years ago I set up a networking group, Wightbuzz on the Isle of Wight and it has gone from strength to strength.Julie is an honorary member. The Giggly Grannies have been visiting some of them and making mad wacky videos and loaded them to you tube They can be seen on my your tube channel (Lyn Blackledge).This kind of marketing won’t be suitable for everyone but it works for some and gets the word out. In September, when our wacky rev (WE worship at Ryde Methodist Church) was attacked by silly jealous people, we got involved. Rev Marie had been inspired to set up the Open Arms Project and worked with Father Anthony and the Churches together in Ryde to help feed the hungry and homeless. It is staffed entirely by volunteers and funds are raised locally to support it. Whilst we knew the work went on,m we hadn’t actually been to see for ourselves. As the silly petty people who caused the problem are what I call Sunday Christians, ie they like to be seen in church on Sunday but the very idea of people in need coming into our church on a Sunday for a hot meal and some tins and packets of food is quite something else. Their attitude of “not in our back yard” is appalling and quite the opposite of Jesus teachings. The Giggly Grannies were so humbled by the work going on that we chose to use our skills to add to the work that the volunteers had been doing and build on their good work. Social media is one of my skills and gossiping the gospel is one of Julie’s so together we set to to help. The response has been amazing. People we don’t know, have been offering us food and bedding and clothing via social media. Other folks generosity has been incredible. So many of us realise we are only one step from being homeless. There are some really sad stories but together pulling as a team we CAN make a difference. We branded as The Giggly Grannies with a facebook page and a twitter feed and we are about to start podcasting too. One of our wightbuzz members, Adam of Adam’s Dezine Shop has created a logo and another member, Paul Rolfe embroidered tshirts for us that say the Giggly Grannies gossip the gospel.

The local branch of Barclays has allowed us two awareness days and what a difference that has made. Wightbuzz members Bjarne of IOW carpet cleaners and Dave Henderson ,Rely on Andy and Do it all Dave sponsored the leaflets. Susan of Smart in Design, designed the posters and created the flyers. Wightbuzz member Sean, of A1 Garage Doors provided the turkey for the Open Arms Christmas lunch and many others donated items. Vicky Chilcott of Victoria Sponge made the Christmas cakes.Louise of Chessell Pottery, donated cakes to be sold (even after we caused a riot in the pottery when we went to make Christmas decorations!!!!)

People have offered us vouchers to get free items in the supermarkets for which we are so grateful. Others have donated tin openers, razors , soap etc and goodies to make up Christmas gift bags. One lovely couple stopped us in Morrisons when we were using funds raised to convert to tinned food (also using vouchers we had been given) They wanted to know what we were doing as they were shopping to give to others. Julie did such a wonderful presentation in the middle of the store that they donated their trolley load of shopping to the Open arms. Not only that, they helped us load the car in the pouring rain and have also been to open arms last week and donated biscuits and sweets they had left from Christmas. Julie had tears rolling down her cheeks – we were so humbled by their generosity – a far cry from the silly, jealous folk who attacked Rev Marie for introducing the Open Arms project!! The work continues  because of a fantastic team of volunteers. Working together, so much can be and is being achieved.

On Friday 13th December, the Wacky rev and the Giggly Grannies went out for a day together. The wacky rev’s “MUM” said it shouldn’t be allowed!!!! We had such fun. Our first stop was Busy Bees where we went in the snow globe just for fun

We made such an impact whilst having fun that when Rev Marie returned the other day (not wearing her dog collar) they recognised her as being the rev with the giggly grannies! (and they didnt ban  her from the store!!!) We then caught the bus to Brading where we got off with our dolley trolleys and gathered some groceries from Jane.

 

We then caught a bus to Ventnor where we popped into see Abigail of Random remnants, a wightbuzz member. Lots of fun and laughter ensued. We had to collect the Christmas cake and as the distance was too far and the bus didnt go to the right place, we hopped in a taxi which had only just enough time to whizz us there and back before collecting its next fair. We collected the Christmas cakes, popped them into our dolley trolleys and back to town where we were delighted that Lesley of the Ventnorian, donated more food to the cause and we bought super Christmas pressies from her shop.

We finished our mad day at Mrs Jones Tea depot in East Cowes.

A superb end to a rather manic day. What a brilliant reception we got. Mrs Jones saw us coming and greeted us with You must be the Giggly Grannies!! She has now decided to join Wightbuzz and we have just arranged a network meeting in the tea depot the week after next!! Julie has been amazing. She is such a good friend and such a giggler. She is selfless and although terminally ill, she always puts others first. I am so pleased that she came into my life. She is a total inspiration and such fun to be with.

Wikaniko and how I like being a distributor of eco friendly products

I have been a distributor for Wikaniko since December 2010 and it is a company I love to be involved with. The folk who run the company work tirelessly to help us grow our businesses. they pay all the suppliers upfront . They offer help and support every step of the way. They are helping me to help others take those small green steps to save the Earth without costing the Earth,

green feet 2

 

It has taken time to build, as all good things do but this morning I faced a particular frustration and I got straight onto the online direct chat to HQ. Drew answered my call and within minutes, he had sorted my problem. Well done Drew. Thanks so much. Im now on my way to take more green steps……….why not come with me – check out the eco friendly products in my online shop and find out how you could have your own shop full of eco friendly items. Why wait – act now http://lynblackledge.wikaniko.com

Coffee and Shop at Ryde Methodist Church March 2nd

On Saturday 2nd March, I will be running another Coffee and Shop event at Ryde Methdist Church. We have many talented local crafts people and some of these  have booked a stall at this event. We also have people running local businesses so this is a great chance to pop in and support the shop local campaign.

 

See you there.

Ryde Methodist Church, Garfield Road, 10 am – 12 noon

4 home based businesses – who said it couldn’t be done?

Once upon a time – a business was for life – not so anymore!. Having worked hard in my 30 year teaching career – during which I ran my own nursery for 21 years – I turned to becoming a book lady – selling children’s books via stalls at local events and book parties. When the book company moved the goal posts after I had built my business for 7 years, I decided to leave and then at the age of 58 I had to look for new ways of earning an income. I found other home based businesses and set up several. I decided to spread my eggs into several baskets. There was criticism but at the end of the day – it’s my life and I have to do what’s right for me. What is right for me is not necessarily right for others.

Read more

The not so humble lemon

An article from Wikaniko

Let’s take a fresh look at lemons – a fruit with a tangy citrus fragrance and flavour that we are all familiar with, great in food and drinks, and also very handy for lots of things in your home! You can even grow a lemon tree in a sheltered spot in your garden in the UK!

 

Here are some uses for lemons that you may not know about…

 Read more

 

How healthy is your environment.

How Healthy Is Your Indoor Environment?

 

Did you know that indoor air quality can be up to 100 times worse for you than

the air we breathe outside?

Indoor pollutants such as mould, pet dander and pollen combine with

chemicals in everyday products, making our homes a pretty toxic place to be.

As we spend at least 50% of our time indoors (more in winter), we are actually

at risk of developing allergies, asthma and worse.

 

Indoor air pollution is easy to manage once you understand where it comes

from. In many cases, pollutants and toxic chemicals such as polyurethane and

formaldehyde are in the items you bring into your home, such as furnishings,

paints and wall coverings. Curtains, carpets, mattresses and other absorbent

fabrics can trap airborne chemical “nasties”, as well as being a breeding

ground for dust mites and other harmful allergens.

 

Indoor pollutants known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) are all

around us. They’re not listed as ingredients, but they’re in most household

products, such as cleaning agents, solvents, plastic, even cosmetics. When

they vaporise, they combine with other compounds to form ozone, which

really is not good stuff to breathe.

 

Remember; if there are chemicals and VOC’s in a product, they can escape

and they won’t be good for you if they do.

The simplest way to keep indoor air healthy is through good ventilation. By

regularly opening your windows (even in the winter), you’ll replace polluted air

with cleaner outdoor air. This also minimises the mould and stops harmful

allergenic spores being released into the air or recycled via air conditioning

units.

 

Water-based glues, adhesives and finishes will contain lower VOC levels,

while “green” cleaning products help reduce toxins, as citrus and pine-based

solvents react with ozone to create formaldehyde. Alternatively, vinegar or

baking soda mixed with warm water makes an excellent all purpose cleaner.

Keep pesticides out of your garden, as they’re easy to walk in on your shoes

and clothing and always keep filters and vents clean, as pollutants can cycle

through air ducts, central heating and cooling mechanisms.

 

Some Interesting Facts

 

5,100: the number of petrochemicals available for home use which have

never been tested for exposure to human health and the environment.

63: the number of synthetic chemical products found in the average home,

translating to roughly 45 litres of harmful chemicals per household.

100: the number of times higher that indoor air pollution levels can be above

outdoor air pollution levels.

10 million: the number of dust mites that may inhabit a standard size double

mattress.

1000: the number of dust particles which settle on a square centimetre each

hour.

2.3 billion: the weight in kilos of chemicals that the cleaning industry uses

each day.

 

Staggering…….

 

Take a look through the cleaning products in the Wikaniko shop to find out

how

you can make your home a healthier place to be!

Welcome to my ecofriendly world and see what’s on offer in my ecofriendly supermarket.

Welcome to my ecofriendly world.

I am just approaching my third birthday as a distributor with Wikaniko. Back in 2009, I decided to start taking small green steps to help save the planet. What better way than joining an ethical business that is set up as a cooperative. Trevor and Karen Blake work tirelessly to grow Wikaniko I have an online ecofriendly supermarket which contains over 900 items from raw chocolate and a range of health and nutrition items to bamboo items, from cleaning products to garden products, pet products to mineral makeup and much more. I am so lucky as I don’t have to stock the supermarket or employ staff. This is all part of my membership. Members merely pay £79 to become a distributor and then for a monthly fee of £3.50 we have access to a super online shop that stocks more than 900 items to lead to a greener world. Not only that prices in my supermarket often beat the big national supermarkets! Many people still seem to think going green means paying more. We also have offers to help the family budget. As I write – the following offer is current but you will have to be quick as this offer finishes on December 16th so check it out quickly.

CHRISTMAS SPECIALS

Don’t forget to take advantage of the Christmas Special Offers this week. These particular offers are only available until midnight on Sunday 16th December, so grab them whilst you can:

*Buy the bespoke Cremoil, get a FREE Lavender Essential Oil to put in it.

* Buy 2 Aloe Vera gels, get the third FREE. (This offer is worth almost £10!)

*Lip balms – buy 2, get a random flavour FREE

*Buy 1 brown flaxseed, get 1 brown flaxseed FREE

*Buy any 6 packs of dog treats and get a FREE roll of dog waste bags

all of these can be found in my supermarket

I have a team of distributors on the Isle of Wight . We are all working from home and have many ways of promoting our businesses from catalogue drops to stalls at fetes and fairs, buying for ourselves to selling to family and friends. Just recently, the business has gone global and we are able to recruit across the globe :) I would love to help many more people take those green steps to a better world. I would like to help lots of therapists promote their own brand products for a minimal fee. There is so much to benefit to connecting with Wikaniko. I also have a facebook page and I can be found on twitter at @lynsgreenbiz

I would love to help you either as a customer of distributor. Lets work together for a greener world.

End of an era – now for a more eco-friendly lifestyle

 

Today is the end of an era! My van and I have had some exciting adventures across the country since 2004. What fun we have had together. I bought the van back in 2004 when I was a book distributor for a well known publisher. I often used to fill it to the top with books, racks, tables and stands and traversed the country setting up at exhibitions and country fayres from the Isle of Wight to Aberdeen – often travelling on my own. I would sit in the cab, which warmed up very quickly, and pop on Classic FM and pootle along in my own concert hall!! If the van could talk it would have some great tales to tell. In 2010 my circumstances changed and I set up new businesses so have since used the van for my Wikaniko business as well as my Phoenix Trading and Primary Stars businesses. It has also served me well in getting me to my Wightbuzz networking meetings.

Earlier this year is got sick!!! £500 later and it was sorted but sadly it got sick again. The cost to get it back on the road is £1000 + so I have made a decision to part company. I felt that a £60 spend on a new pair of comfortable shoes coupled with my bus pass was a way to go. After all, I run an eco friendly business – Wikaniko -. so now for a more eco friendly lifestyle. I am already feeling the benefits as my fitness levels are increasing. I have friends who are happy to give me lifts but in the mean time – have bus pass will travel. It is amazing how much you can see and appreciate when you are not driving. I have read books and updated social media on the bus and of course there is always the chance to network enroute too. So I’m off on different adventures now – bus pass, comfy shoes and shopping trolley at the ready!!! Oh and just for good measure I bought myself a big umbrella!!