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Mamma Fairy

Mamma Musings

Will Heavy Snow on Trees Cause Damage?

Winter is the perfect setting for cozying up in a warm blanket to watch movies and drink hot chocolate. Snow gives a magical tinge to the freezing cold weather and provides the backdrop for beautiful Instagram-worthy pictures. However, this comes at a price, and as the snow gets more intense, severe side effects start to appear.  From frostbite to slippery roads, heavy snow can escalate into dangerous situations very quickly.  Your landscape also bears the brunt of heavy snow on trees. If the snow is sparse, it will melt away harmlessly from your trees, but as you might have observed, heavy snow often comes with the tell-tale cracking sound indicative of the damage it is inflicting on your plants.

Effects of Heavy Snow on Trees:

Wet snow causes more injury to trees than dry snow as the former is heavier. These are the common risks associated with heavy snow on trees, depending on the quantity snow and the shape of the tree:

  • Bending: Accumulation of heavy snow on trees causes the delicate branches to bend. In some cases, the excess weight can make the entire tree bend. Young or small plants are most susceptible to this type of damage. As trees become brittle in winter, bending puts the tree in a bad position.

  • Breaking: Breaking occurs when either the branches or the stem of a tree shatter due to the weight of snow. Hanging branches or half-broken trees can create unsafe conditions for people and property.  Besides potentially derailing the entire top structure of trees, which can take months to recover from, these breaks expose the tree to various pathogens that can affect the overall health of the tree.

  • Splitting: If a tree is placed directly under a roof or any structure which can cause a large quantity of snow to fall in one concentrated portion, the tree can split from the shock and pressure of the sudden weight. This, again, causes infection risks for the tree.
  • Falling or Uprooting: This is the most extreme case of winter damage that can occur in trees. When a tree stays inflexible against the huge barrage of snow that winter brings, it will eventually either fall or get uprooted. If a large, weak tree, it might be best to have it removed by an experienced professional before the harsh winter weather hits.

Snow Damage by Tree Type:

The amount of damage that a tree can bear depends on the type of tree. Like everything in nature, trees have adapted to defend against this kind of extreme weather.  Most deciduous trees typically have broad leaves, making them susceptible to collect large quantities of snow. Losing their leaves in anticipation of winter is a kind of defense mechanism that protects them from severe snow damage. 

Coniferous evergreens, like spruce or pine, collect more snow than deciduous trees due to the presence of leaves, but the flexible structure enables them to simply bend with the weight of snow and shrug it all off. If not for their flexibility, the snow collected on the leaves would cause the tree significant damage. Yet, when faced with severe winds and snow, many conifers with narrow canopies tend to lose their crowns. It is imperative that these trees get pruned correctly to encourage proper recovery.  Apart from tree type, the tree’s structure also affects the amount of damage it can bear. For instance, trees with branches angled at 90-degrees from the stem function better than those with steeper branches.

Protecting Against Heavy Snow Damage on Trees:


Although heavy snow has the potential to cause significant damage to your trees, there are a few things you can do to defend against it.  Freshly fallen heavy snow can simply be brushed away with a hand, a soft broom, or by very gently shaking the branches. Avoid the urge to aggressively shake the tree as winter makes branches brittle and your action could make the situation worse.   If the snow has transformed into ice on your tree, it should be left alone to melt naturally. De-icing salts can introduce harmful toxins into the plant affecting its overall health, so this should be avoided. Also, no heat source should be brought near your plant in an to attempt to speed up the melting process – it will do more harm than good. 

Try to avoid planting trees that are not compatible with the weather of your region. Some trees like the Arborvitae are notoriously bad at withstanding winter damage; if you must plant these, protect them from damage by placing them away from a sloping roof or any structure that could abruptly deposit a large amount of snow on them.  If any part of your tree does break and doesn’t pose any danger to its environment or to its own health, you can wait until the end of winter to prune it. At that point, the tree is still dormant, but the weather will get warm enough to avoid further damage. Otherwise, it should be pruned immediately.

While caring for your trees, always make sure you are safe as well and not doing any dangerous stunts like climbing an icy tree or sawing above your head. And, if your unsure of what steps to take or needs assistance, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced arborist to assist you.   Although heavy snow can have many adverse effects on trees, it also has certain benefits. One of the factors affecting a tree’s health in winter is the sudden fluctuation in temperatures accompanied by this weather. This causes the entire structure of the tree, from top to root. to become weak and brittle. When snowfall occurs, it creates a protective layer of snow around the tree.

And, as snow is a bad conductor of heat, this layer insulates the tree and its roots from these temperature fluctuations and helps regulate its temperature. And, after it melts, it gives the tree moisture needed for nourishment. So, snow is not always bad for trees.   Reach out to professional arborists to keep your trees prepared for the harsh winters. Be prepared for winter damage with Mr. Tree!

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Features

7 top tips to stay strong and healthy through the winter season

Just in time for the season that in it, Wellness consultant Julie Burke reveals her 7 top tips to stay strong and healthy through the winter season.  Sickness is more prevalent in winter, so taking a multi-strain supplement like Bio-Kult can help to keep you healthy and strong this winter,” says Julie Burke.

So what are Julie’s top tips:

 Stay active

It’s easy to let our exercise and fitness routines slip in these cold and dark winter months. You might need to adjust your daily routine with the shift in seasons but don’t let it bring things to a halt. Simple changes like home workouts can be implemented into your exercise routine as a more accessible option. Yoga and Pilates are great for muscle strength and circulatory health, and these workouts range from beginner to expert.

Nourish your body

With Christmas comes even more excuses to eat out. Making the right food choices is important for immunity and overall health. Eat foods that will nourish your body, give you energy, and keep you fuller for longer.

Rest

It’s important to make an effort to get a minimum of 8 hours sleep a night, especially over the winter months when our bodies are subject to colder weather and the possibility of sickness

Keep hydrated

Staying hydrated helps to detoxify our bodies, making us less susceptible to colds and flus. Drinking water not only nourishes our bodies, but also helps combat the beginning of winter bugs.

Take probiotics

A probiotic and a glass of water can work wonders when it comes to prevention of sicknesses. A daily dose of Bio-Kult Advanced multi-strain is a brilliant way to keep on top of your health during winter while staying hydrated too.

 Make time for me time

“Staying strong” applies to mental health as much as it does physical health. I, for one, am the worst patient, so I pay particular attention to keeping my body and mind fit and healthy. In winter, many of us suffer with mental health issues. Knowing this, it’s important to be present and just check in on how you are, with no distractions. It can be a 10-minute yoga flow in the morning, it can be a walk in the park, and it can be a meditation practice. It doesn’t matter what it is, it matters that you make it happen.

Disconnect

We live in a world where we are constantly on our phones and bombarded by information and sensory stimulation. It’s vital that no matter what season it is, we all take time to unplug and disconnect. Try to have at least an hour before bed with no phone or make your sitting room a phone-free zone.

To find out more about the Bio-Kult product range, visit: www.scopehealthcare.ie

Note: This isn’t sponsored in anyway im simply sharing what I think is some great advice.
Mamma Musings

Top Tips for a Healthier Family Lifestyle

In today’s society, it seems as if we are constantly being given warnings about the dangers of ill health, obesity and a lack of exercise. There are countless schemes and often conflicting health guidance out there, designed to help every member of the family stay healthier – from grandparents right down to the family pet!

While this can understandably be a bit overwhelming, the importance of keeping fit and healthy should not be overlooked. Here are some top tips and advice to help you and your family lead a healthier lifestyle all year round!

Lead by Example

Many young children like to copy others, which is why you are one of the most important role models in your child’s life. Lead by example and do your best to instil healthy habits from a young age – this way, your children are more likely to continue them as they grow older. Make healthy food choices and regular exercise just a usual part of family life; a norm rather than an exception.

Mix Up Mealtimes

Of course, healthy eating is not a new concept. However, fad diets or extremes should be avoided as they can lead to unhealthy habits and a negative relationship with food – not to mention the fact that more often than not, they don’t even work! Instead, you should look to encourage a healthy, balanced diet for each member of your family. Start the day right with a healthy breakfast before work or school, swap out unhealthy snacks for fruit and healthier options, and maybe even let the kids help choose what you will eat as a family! You might end up with some strange food combinations or unusual recipes to start with, but it’s a great way to get everyone involved with cooking and you may even discover something new.

Make Time for Yourself

If you are a busy working parent or are simply struggling to find time to set aside for yourself after childcare, chores and everything else that needs to be done, this could be a sign that you are setting yourself up for burnout. Stress can be caused by a wide variety of different factors, and if you don’t allow yourself downtime where you can relax, the chances are that it will only get worse. Allow yourself the opportunity to do what you want to do – whether it is visiting friends, going to see a film or literally just collapsing on the sofa with some snacks, a drink, and the TV remote!

Make Exercise Fun

If your children would rather sit inside playing their favourite video game than engaging in active play, perhaps it’s time to bring the fun back to outdoor play! Exciting playground structures and designs can stimulate your child’s imagination and encourage their social skills and creativity. Look at this site if you need some inspiration for your child’s playground! Whether you invest in a climbing frame for your back garden, take your children to the local play park or encourage them to use the play equipment at school, this can be a great way to keep exercise fun!

Keeping Pets Healthy

Last but certainly not least, your pets are important members of the family too and their health should definitely not be overlooked! Regular exercise is essential for all pets – whether it is giving your hamster the run of a room in their hamster ball or heading out for a long, relaxing walk in the countryside with your dog. Similarly, you need to ensure that you are feeding your pet the correct type and amount of food to keep those tails wagging!

Are you ready to lead your family towards a healthier lifestyle? Get started today and you’ll be reaping the benefits in next to no time at all!

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Features

Friday Night fun with Four Star Pizza

For the last few years we have developed a family tradition where my parents, sister, her husband and ourselves gather in our house to watch the Late Late Toy Show. My youngest hasnt managed to stay awake long enough yet but im sure next year will be a different story. My oldest despite being only 6 managed almost the whole show this year.  You cant not love the Toy Show sure it practically an institution at this stage.  We have plenty happy memories ourselves of it growing up.

The very lovely people at Four Star Pizza in Lucan very kindly sent us some super yummy pizzas and treats to make out night even more enjoyable. My oldest has the oddest eating habits – he hates chocolate, he hates chips and wouldn’t care for soft drinks. I do wonder at times if I did take the wrong child home!!! However he absolutely adores pizza. In fact id say he is in prime position to taste test the Four Star Pizza offerings!!

He loves garlic bread, like to insane proportions and he devoured the one from Four Star Pizza, mega thumbs up. My sisters husband reckoned the pepperoni was super yum and the base got a mega thumbs up. The chief cookies taster aka myself and my little sis devoured and I mean devoured the cookies. I’m drooling just thinking about them. I was really surprised with the variety on offer not only of pizza but sides and sambos too. I even saw some reduced gluten bases.

There was clean plates (boxes) all round that Friday night and myself and my sis had a girly night since and we reordered to hers.  I havent tried the sambos yet but I really want to – the Rajun Cajun looks right up my street!!

Overall its a thumbs up from me and two thumbs up for my 6 year old chief taster.  He officially declared the garlic bread the best of his life, quite the accolade for a 6 year old!!!

 

Note: Four Star Pizza kindly sent us some products to try, I wasnt asked or expected to write this review. All opinions are mine or the boys where appropriate.

 

 

 

Mamma Musings

Party Ideas for Winter Kid’s Birthday

Summer children have it easy, the warmer days and brighter evenings provide plenty of opportunities to get outside and run around, letting off the pent-up energy that only seems to increase in capacity when children gather together. Children born in the winter face a couple more restrictions when it comes to organising a party, especially considering the cost of hall and venue hire when trying to entertain a larger number of classmates. While it can be frustrating, it just means winter children get to be more creative with their party ideas and can offer something different to just going to the nearest park or open field to play outside games.

Festive Treat Decorating

A party idea that has the kids creating their own snacks, buy or make a collection of gingerbread men, or if you are feeling really motivated, a couple of gingerbread house kits, that the children can build and decorate together with sweets, icing, chocolate shapes, sprinkles, etc. There are plenty of edible decorations available in the cake aisle of your local big-name supermarkets and around the festive period, you can find plenty of pretty patterns and shapes including snowflakes, snowmen and holly leafs to name a few.

Prepare the room by investing in a cost-effective large plastic sheet or tarpaulin that can be placed on the floor to protect against dropped treats and squished sweets, especially necessary if you have carpet!

Indoor Winter Sports

Got room to spare? Host your own winter games indoors, away from the cold. You can set up several “courses” including an area for measuring the furthest hop, skip and jump, somewhere to hold a short footrace or if speed is a concern, the slow footrace! Who can go the slowest without stopping? Further winter games could include an obstacle course, balloon race and best animal impression.

Creativity and imagination are your only restriction when hosting your own indoor winter games and there isn’t much investment needed, although you can always grab some medals as a “prize” for the party guests. Get your child involved in coming up with the games together and if you get stuck, there is plenty of inspiration available online.

Cops and Robbers Party

Depending on the age of your child, a themed party is sure to go down a treat and cops and robbers can be particularly fun for kids. Have the kids come in costume, police or robber or simply hand out some masks and a sheriff’s badge which all can be handmade relatively cheaply and quickly.

Party games can include a “laser course” made using string hung horizontally across a corridor that the kids must get through without touching the string and “setting off the alarms”. You can also set up a target practice zone using soft nerf guns or cheap “sucker” guns which fire soft ended sucker darts and often include a plastic target. Don’t forget to get the kid’s mug shots before they go home!

Lego Party

Lego is always going to be a popular pastime and toy for growing children as it encourages their creativity and imagination and helps them create entire make-believe worlds around them. As such, a Lego party will always go down a treat for boys and girls and even the party food can be made Lego themed, with brick-shaped cupcakes and pizza squares.

Lego sets can be picked up inexpensively via online stores and you can introduce party games such as hide the brick, fastest to build a specific design, highest tower, guess the number of bricks in a jar and build the best Lego vehicle to launch down a homemade ramp.

Winter doesn’t always bring rain and if you have an all-weather garden with artificial grass or a covered trellis, you can put together some activities that the children can take part in outdoors to give them more room to enjoy themselves. Just remember to request outdoor suitable clothing on the invitation to stop them getting cold!

Note: This is a collaborative post 

Mamma Musings

Free time? What’s that? Your guide to putting your feet up

With Christmas coming and with hordes of relatives descending on your home at any moment, you might find yourself at a bit of a loose end. With many family members simply not allowing you to lift a finger and letting them do all the hard work…A girl can dream right?

But seriously, with plenty more adults around, who are willing to lend a hand, you might find yourself with a bit of free time. So, what should you do with it? It may have been so long since you’ve had any you have no idea. But don’t worry – read on for a little inspiration of how you can spend your free time. Or you could just dream about it instead…?

Treat your face

With the kids seemingly under control and you’ve managed to become unstuck from the oven you might even be able to take a little time and put some makeup on. You could slip on some anti-aging eye cream (to get you through the Festive Season) or play around with some new eye shadows or even sit with a face mask on for ten minutes. Just enjoy being able to hear your own inner thoughts!

Reading

Yeah it might be a little obvious. But sometimes we forget how good it feels to pick up a book and get pulled straight back into a story. Whether it’s a fantasy novel, an old childhood favourite or a celebrity tell-tale book. There’s nothing wrong with disappearing for a couple of hours and diving head first into a book.

Go for a walk

Who says you have to stay cooped up indoors? You could really make a break for it and go for a walk around your favourite beauty spot, or even just around the block for some fresh air. Getting in a little cardio before you tackle that box of chocolates this evening will help you not feel as guilty.

Sleep

None of us are getting enough sleep, and the festive season can be both physically and mentally draining. So, if you get the chance try grabbing an extra forty winks and catching up on some much needed rest. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

Rearrange your photos

If you have sleeves of photographs that are looking for homes, or you just haven’t gotten around to putting them into your albums yet, then why not do it now? You can even date them all and place them in chronological order. Looking back at the memories you’ve made over the year will certainly make you smile.

Listen

Why not try listening to a new audiobook? Or even a podcast on a subject your passionate about? Or how about a comedy set from your favourite comedian or just some of your favourite tunes that make you feel happy. You could even try listening to the nice, peaceful silence!

Have a bubble bath

You’re probably going to get some new smellies for Christmas anyway, so empty that whole bottle into the tub and have a nice long soak. You deserve it.

Note: This is a collaborative post
Fairy Travels

Planning The Perfect US Getaway: A Guide

new york skyline

Pic credit: Pixabay

If you’ve long dreamed of heading out on a US getaway, then maybe it’s time you stopped thinking about it and actually did it! When you do decide to do it, to ensure that you experience everything, make sure to plan your vacation down the to a T.  To see what should figure into your US getaway plans, read on.

Choose a wide range of places to visit

When it comes to planning the perfect US getaway, you really are spoilt for choice. What with there being so many states and cities for you to choose from, it’s a near impossible task to whittle your journey down to one American destination. This means that, if you have the luxury of being able to travel for a considerable amount of time, you really should experience as much as the US has to offer by heading to as many different places within the country as you can.

To save yourself from missing out on anything in America, you should seek to experience it all! From partying in Miami to camping in Big Sur, your goal should be to do it all, whether it’s all in one go or not.

Be strategic when it comes to your itinerary

You don’t want to miss a thing on your US getaway, which means that you have to put some real thought into your itinerary before you head out on your adventure. This means deciding what you’re going to see on each day that you spend in the US, and putting plans into place that will see you remain in top condition to ensure that you lose none of your vacation to illness.

In regards to the latter, depending on where you choose to head to, there are going to be different environmental challenges for you to take into account. In Miami, for instance, the party, quite literally, never stops. There’s always something happening in the 305, no matter what day of the week you decide to paint the town red. From Monday night beats to Sunday Fundays on the beach, there’s always something going on. This means that, if you like to get a bit wild from time to time, then this should be the place for you — this also means that you could put yourself in real danger of a hangover upon a visit here. Fear not, however, because, with the help of IV hydration Miami, you need not suffer after your night of Florida fun. The infusion of vitamins and fluids that Reset IV will send to you wherever you are staying will see you beat that migraine and get you up partying again before you know it — to ensure none of your Miami getaway is lost to a hangover, then, you should make sure to get into contact with this company prior to touching down in the city.

Don’t forget the natural beauty that country has to offer

When planning a US getaway, it can be easy to get caught up in the glitz, the glamour, and the partying. By favouring places like Los Angeles and Vegas over Yosemite and Big Sur, however, you will truly miss out on the beauty of this country.   When you decide to head to National Park in the US, make sure to pack your walking boots and make sure to set suitable camping arraignments in place prior to arrival. This will save you having to sleep rough in your car for the night while you wait for a camping space to become available.

To get the most out of your next trip to America, make sure to incorporate the above advice into your getaway-planning process.

Note: This is a collaborative post
Fairy Travels

Ensuing your car is winter ready

fixing a car

Pic Credit: Pixabay

We often joke in our house, wondering how many miles we do a year. We love to travel and we spend quite a bit of time in the car.  Therefore ensuring the health of our car is as important as our own health, after all the cargo is precious!!

One thing I will commend the Dada Fairy on is that he is very thorough and cautious about checking the car, you can never be too careful. I am by no means an expert and always talk to a professional, never taking any risks when it comes to the road worthiness of your vehicle, if its NCT or MOT get your certification for example in London from Iversons.

Some tips we have gleaned over the years of travel in all types of weather conditions and often all terrains:

  • Protect your paintwork, harsh weather conditions like ice, snow, grit and dirt can impact the paintwork so it is important to use a wax coating or similar to  form a protective layer
  • Inspect your car before setting off, always check tyres (brakes), and windscreen, and wipers before setting off and not forgetting ensuring all lights are working correctly.
  • Anti freeze, in harsh conditions antifreeze is an important component in protecting engines 
  • Fuel, in winter we would never travel with the bare minimum always ensure you have plenty in case of emergencies etc
  • Emergency kit, ensure your car is well stocked in case of unforeseen breakdown, safety kit should include a good first aid kit as well as hi-viz, triangle, cones, flash light and its not harm to stick in some energy bars. Just in case. Its important to be prepared.

I can’t stress how important it is to have your car serviced regularly. At this time of year makings sure your vehicle is able for the inevitable harsher conditions is so  important.

Note: This is a collaborative post however I retain full editorial control.
Home & Interiors

A Guide to Antique Bureau Styles

There are many styles of writing desks, or bureaus, as they are also  known, which is hardly surprising when you consider that furniture was designed in all corners of the world. Some of these styles have stood the test of time and if you are thinking to add some character to your study with a period bureau, here’s a brief guide of what is available in the antique market.

  • Mazarin Bureau – An early version of the “knee hole desk” that has two recesses to accommodate the knees.

    antique desk

    Pic Credit: Unsplash

    These first emerged in the mid-17th century and have two or three tiered drawers on either side, with a single drawer above the knee space. Stylish support with either 4 or 8 turned legs that are strengthened by X or H shaped stretchers gives this piece a distinct look and this Louis XIV era item is usually superbly decorated with Boulle Marquetry. A classic writing desk that has no doubt inspired many European writers over the centuries.

  • The Butler’s Desk – A short, compact desk with a drop-down front and a noticeably square look, this piece is ideal for the writer that has many items. Behind the writing surface are many small drawers and slots and there are 3 or 4 drawers underneath the writing surface, this mid-19th century item was extremely popular in England for around a century and there are many variations – a few actually have a sliding door on the lower section that reveals numerous drawers. Of all the antique bureau styles, the Butler’s Desk is quite a common piece and would look great in the right environment.
  • Cheveret – A tiny and delicate looking desk typically used by ladies in the mid-18th century, popular in England and all parts of the British Isles. Who knows how many love letters were answered while sitting at this desk? The ideal item for the career woman with style, this petite desk serves well in a room with limited space.
  • Ship Captain’s Desk – Rugged and sturdy, as one would expect from a vessel-based writing desk, the ship captain’s desk is narrow and has a sloping writing surface, ideal for writing in the captain’s log during those long and stormy voyages around the world.

    writing desk

    Pic Credit: Unsplash

    Many clever little compartments and cubby holes can be found to accommodate the many objects a seafaring captain would use. Ideal for an attic study, this robust item was also used by military commanders in the field of battle. This style was prominent in America and Europe in the late 19th century. Earlier version were quite basic and they became more ornate over the period of 80 years and were to be found in many manor study rooms across England.

  • Front Fall Desk – Very practical, this solid piece of furniture originated in Spain during the 16th century and would usually have 6 deep drawers across the lower section. The drop section was fashioned to look like another layer of drawers when closed, giving it a balanced look. There are many versions and some are exquisitely adorned, making a perfect feature in the aristocratic office. This sturdy desk was the foundation of the emerging European middle class.

There are many other styles on the market, and if you are planning to acquire one for your study, browse a few online antique dealers and you are bound to see all of the above, plus a good few other styles that might just be what you’re looking for.

Note: This is a collaborative post
Fairy Travels

Skiing with kids some tips and advice

I know lots of people think we are insane to take young kids skiing but with the right precautions we haven’t had any issues going on family ski trips. Actually dare I say it we gravitate towards winter holidays rather than sun holiday. We were in Canada last year and are off to Finland, more precisely Lapland in 3 weeks and counting. Having done this a number of times both pre and post kids I have set out some tips and advice below:

  • Preparation is key! Shop around for good quality durable ski wear it is worth spending money on this as they will really be put through their paces and will last a couple of seasons or be handed down between the kids too! While it doesn’t get particularly cold around these parts there have been days where the thermals have come in useful for the kids! One thing I am very strict on is kids ski helmet. A lot of research goes in to selecting top quality ones for us all. 
  • No helmet no ski rule: This one is strictly enforced so everybody knows not so much as a foot allowed on the slopes until the helmets are on.
  • Good socks:  You will thank me later, good socks are essential.
  • Layers: Layers and lots of them is what works for us as you will be in and out places and can adjust them as necessary.
  • Insurance: Call you insurance provider to see if you need an upgrade for winter activities many often do.
  • Skincare: Temperatures can get very low so make sure you moisturise, especially the delicate skin of younger kids. We favour the Eucerin Dry Skin Range and used it on our recent trip to Iceland.
  • Choose wisely: Resorts can vary so much so do your research to ensure it is kid friendly including providing cots, high chairs etc if needs be. Some resorts offer some child minding and clubs.
  • Manage Expectations: Pre kids you might have been able for hours on the slopes and lets faces it as much as they might enjoy skiing they will need more breaks and down time during the day. There is nothing worse than tired and grumpy kids on the slopes. 
  • Tech: Phones aren’t keen on the cold so keep them in inside pockets

Hopefully the above will be some help in getting you set up for your first or repeat ski trip.  Check back at the end of the month for trip reports on our upcoming Finland trip.

Note: This is a collaborative post however I retain full editorial control