Words of Wisdom for the Future Us

We can pretty much all agree that the year 2020 was not what we had hoped for. There were turmoil, angst, confusion, division, and a lot of pain for many people. Each new year, most of us hope for a better future; a future where we can dig out of our darkness and walk into the light. But what can 2021 bring us? While many of us might still be struggling, the hope that lives in our hearts remain there, nonetheless.

I’d like to share some phrases and proverbs for 2021. Perhaps you can write some of these down or remember them when you need them the most.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Chinese proverb – Big goals are achieved through many small actions.

“Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.” Chinese proverb – Slow growth is better than stagnation.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.” Chinese proverb – It is best to start a project as soon as you can.

“If you want happiness for a lifetime; help someone else.” Chinese proverb – Happiness comes through helping others.

“Giving your son a skill is better than giving him 1,000 pieces of gold.” Chinese proverb – It is better to support your child with education than money.

“To understand your parents love you must raise children yourself.” Chinese proverb – Only parents know what it is like to raise children.

“A single conversation with a wise man is worth a month’s study of books.” Chinese proverbWisdom is sometimes more important than knowledge.

“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you can not fool all the people all the time.” – Abraham Lincoln.

“Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.” – Abraham Lincoln.

“I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.” – Abraham Lincoln.

“We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.” – Abraham Lincoln.

“The time comes upon every public man when it is best for him to keep his lips closed.” – Abraham Lincoln.

“The goal is not to be better than the other man, but your previous self.” – The Dalai Lama.

“A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.” – The Dalai Lama.

“Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.” – The Dalai Lama.

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – The Dalai Lama.

“Don’t ever mistake my silence for ignorance, my calmness for acceptance or my kindness for weakness. Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.” – The Dalai Lama.

“Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” – The Dalai Lama.

*** And if you ever need some hard truth in your life, talk to children. They will usually tell you how they feel about a subject without prejudice. – Happymomblogger.

I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year!

-credit to thoughtco.com

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

 

 

Small joys tag

SMALL JOYS TAG

Thanks to The Okay Mommy for nominating me in this bloggers holiday tag! It was so fun reading through The Okay Mommy’s post on what brings her joy and seeing all those fun and delicious photos!

Here are the rules if you get tagged or if you want to start your own tag! Please include me in the tag group too as I’d love to see what brings you joy!

Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you

  • List 15 of your joy

  • Nominate 5 other bloggers/writers that bring you joy and feel free to say why!

15 Things That Bring Me Joy:

1 – My son! Your kids will probably always be your number one joy, even on days they drive you crazy! 🙂

2 – My family. And yes, this extends to outside my immediate family!

3 – Hot tea. There’s nothing like a hot cup of green or herbal tea. I drink it most religiously and have to have a cup every day. Green tea is my most favorite due to its health benefit and its slightly earthy flavor

4 – Cooler weather. I’m from Northern California so I’m used to the cooler weather. Plus, it’s a good excuse to bundle up on some cozy clothes!

5 – The Sun. Yes, yes, I know I just said I like cooler weather, but I also love the sun! The sun warms me and yet the quality of it makes me feel a bit like a Kryptonian 🙂

6 – Gardening. l love plants of all kind. Gardening is relaxing and can be rewarding. I’ve enjoyed gardening since I was a little girl, working alongside my parents in our yards and learning all I can from them.

7 – Books. I love to read! I’ve been an avid reader since I could pick up a book. Books help take me away to faraway lands and people that I wouldn’t normally meet.

8 – Writing. I love to write! Ever since I could pick up a pen or pencil, I was always writing something. Writing is a great stress reliever and can bring such wonderful creativity to anyone’s world.

9 – Disney and their entire franchise. There’s just something so magical about Disney. The creativity and imagination that Disney brings to the world is just amazing. 

10 – Laughter of kids. There’s just something so darling about a young child’s laughter. Their whole faces light up when they’re happy and laughing. Especially the giggles. The giggles are so sweet!

11 – Kittens and puppies. Heck, any baby animals are so darn cute!

12 – Godiva chocolates. I don’t eat a lot of sweets, but when I do, it’s gotta be Godiva! 🙂

13 – Being creative. It’s so fun to just let your creativity out!

14 – Finding rare and unique treasures at my parents house. My parents are artists and collectors and I’m always finding some wonderful treasures there!

15 – And certainly last but not least. The magic of friendship. I’ve been pretty fortunate to have met some wonderful friends throughout the years. These are friends that accept you for who you are and they will stick by you no matter what.

I would like to nominate the following bloggers/writers:

@BloggyMoms (Tiffany Noth/Bloggy Moms Influencers)

@theravenangel (https://www.janellrhiannon.com/)

@msrachelteodoro (https://www.rachelteodoro.com/)

@gabbyabigaill (https://gabbyabigaill.com/)

@mark_kastens (https://markkastens.com/)

 

*photos from Pinterest and Martha Stewart blog.

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

 

2020 Guide to Eco holiday gifts

As we’re getting closer and closer to the huge holiday in December – you know, the one where a chubby and jolly old man with a white beard and red suit comes down the chimney to drop off some packages- or whatever holiday you celebrate this winter season, it also comes down to gifts and celebrations. But this year has been a strange and tough one for most of us. With the pandemic restricting traveling and gatherings, we really have to decide what is safer, smarter, and better. I’m here just to give you some ideas for an eco-friendly holiday season. And while most of us are hunkering down for the holidays, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy ways of celebrating while also giving back to our planet.

Below I’ve listed 20 ways to go eco-friendly this holiday season. As times change, so do our options for buying responsibly. There are a wonderful assortment of companies that sell products and services that also supports the environment.

STOCKING STUFFERS:

If you prefer giving stocking stuffers as main presents or just looking for something fun for your family, stocking stuffers are always a great way to bring some cheer.

1 – Fairtrade chocolates. Fairtrade isn’t a new term, but it’s a word that a lot of people don’t fully understand. Fairtrade simply means companies create a partnership with those in third world or developing countries to ensure they get a fair trade in equity and practices. So, whenever you’re buying chocolates, try to buy from companies that support fair trade. Great companies to support are Equal Exchange, Divine Chocolates, and Theo Chocolates.

2 – Reusable straws. Reusable straws should always be in your purse or backpack. Single-use plastic straws are so 2018. Try supporting brands such as Mermaid Straw, and Young CEO Squad.

3 – Mini or small tins of tea, cocoa, and coffee. Who doesn’t love a cute metal tin filled with something uniquely delicious? These metal tins are infinitely reusable and recyclable due to their materials. Great companies to buy small tins of goodies are Tea Drops, Clarks Cubes, and Mountain Rose Herbs. 

4 – Lip balms. Who can’t use a lip balm now and then? They’re extremely useful during colder weather, climate changes, and when traveling. Plus, lip balms are great for any age and gender. Great companies to support are climbOn, Eco Lips, and Burt’s Bees.

5 – Bar lotion. Lotion in bottles are great. But what’s even better and more eco-friendly are lotion bars. They’re basically concentrated lotion set into a specific shape, usually a round disc or a square. They are usually held inside metal tins or compostable containers. And they last a whole lot longer than liquid lotions. Some of my favorite brands to support are climbOn, and Moon Valley Organics.

6 – Reusable utensils set. Whether you are a germaphobe or just like using your own utensils when eating out or at the office, there’s nothing like a shiny set of utensils. You can find some really nice looking ones that everyone will surely envy! Great companies to support are Mermaid Straw, and United By Blue.

FOR KIDS:

What is the holiday season without spending some money on kids? Whether they are your kids, your relatives, or friends, giving kids what they really want for Christmas or the holidays is the best form of gift giving. If you can find out what the kiddoes enjoy, then find eco friendlier options.

7 – Gift cards. Back in the olden days, a wrapped gift might bring a shine to a child’s eye. But, in the new age of self awareness, kids might want gift cards or cash instead. That’s because there are so many options to choose from nowadays. And if they prefer buying something that’s more unique and can’t be readily found in brick and mortar stores, then they might have to purchase online. And quite honestly, wouldn’t you rather give them gift cards or money so they can buy something that they really want instead of things that’ll just end up in their closets? You can always place the gift cards in a reusable box or tin or bag. Better option is to send an e-gift card to reduce plastic waste.

8 – DIY kits. There’s just something unique and satisfying when you’re putting together your own project. DIY or Do-It-Yourself kits are all the rage. Plus, they can be enjoyed anytime of the year and offer great assortments for any age and gender. They can range from DIY baking kits, to birdhouses, to jewelry. A great company that makes fun and educational DIY STEM kits is Green Kids Crafts.

9 – Reusable beverage bottles. With kids in school most of the day for at least 17 years of their lives, they sure could use their own reusable water bottles. Having their own reusable water bottle prevents germs from spreading and they can carry it wherever they go. Most teachers allow reusable water bottles in classrooms so students don’t have to get up to get a drink of water. Find some fun and unique bottles from Mermaid Straw, Kleen Kanteen, and Simple Modern.

10 – Books. Okay, okay, I know I always suggest this, but I love books and that’s because I started reading at a very young age. The joy of reading started when I was gifted with some really fascinating titles which led to my love for writing. Most kids will like reading so there’s always a book or two to find for them. If you know what authors or genre the child likes, it’ll make it easier to gift them the books they want. If not, you can always give them a fun and thick book about their favorite pastime or hobby.

And for great book ideas, check out Great Schools.

*** Parents: For some awesome book and merchandise gifts, check out LuvBooks. Use code: LUVSUZAN at checkout for 10%off! (this website is great for parents as they are more geared towards adults!)

11 – Building sets. At one point or another in their lives, kids will have had at least one building set. It could be blocks, logs, or robots. Building sets are great for hand-eye coordination, flexibility, and creativity. One of the biggest and most well known building set brand is LEGO. Aptly named “play well” in Danish, LEGO bricks are akin to childhood as apple pie is to ice cream. They last a lifetime, can be passed down to future generations, and they created a new “take back” program where you can send your used LEGO bricks back to the company to be donated to charities. LEGO are great for any age, gender, and experience.

FOR TEACHERS:

Our kids have some pretty hard working teachers, especially for this year. The best way to thank them for their dedication to their occupation is to gift them something that they’ll really love. Most teachers appreciate gifts that aren’t classroom related. They’ve probably received many “Best Teacher” mugs or photographs of your kids in homemade frames. Instead, try sending them something that they’ll use and is environmentally friendly. You’ll also be sending a message that you care about the environment too.

12 – Reusable beverage bottles. Depending on the grade they teach, most teachers are unable to leave their classrooms to use the bathroom or get a sip of water. Give them a nice, sturdy, and elegant water bottle that they can put their fresh water in.  Companies to support are Mermaid Straw, Kleen Kanteen, and Simple Modern. The best ones are made from stainless steel, glass, and bamboo. They last for many years and are easily recyclable once they break down.

13 – Hand lotion/bars. Teachers are constantly using their hands, whether they’re turning pages, writing on whiteboards, or tying shoelaces. Give them the gift of soft and supple hands. As mentioned above, lotion bars last a lot longer than liquid versions and you can find ones made with soothing and uplifting scents. Try companies such as climbOn, and Moon Valley Organics.

14 – Fairtrade and Organic Coffee and Tea. Give teachers great tasting hot beverages that are made sustainably, organically, and fair trade. Try brands such as Equal Exchange, NumiTea, and Lavazza Coffee.

15 – Plants. Nowadays, you can find a plethora of plants for all kinds of people. Whether you have a green thumb or a black one, plants are fairly easy to take care of after years of cultivation and research. Plus, plants are adorable sitting in a classroom or on a table and they bring a wholesome quality to every room. Potted plants are best to start for those who are beginners. Great choices that don’t require a lot of care are succulents, Philodendron, herbs, violets, and cultivated bamboo.

ECO-FRIENDLY AND BUDGET-FRIENDLY GIFTS:

This holiday season might mean less spending for many people. But if you still want to pick up a gift or two for a loved one, then here are some suggestions that are low budget but still pack a lot of heart and soul into them.

16 – Homemade gifts. If you love to cook or are really crafty, then you’ll probably enjoy making your own gifts. Bake delicious holiday-shaped cookies and put them into a nice tin. The recipient can in turn reuse the tins and might possibly return it with their own creation! Or make homemade candles. Be sure to use soy wax(for vegans) or beeswax to prevent chemical toxins emitted into the air while burning. You can make a big batch of candles to give as gifts and place them in glass jars to be reused later on. Check out a great resource from Mother Earth Living magazine.

17 – Hand drawn artwork. Whether you are a professional artist or just like to dab in paint or pencils, you can create some really unique and one-of-a-kind artwork. Put them into a pretty glass frame and if you’re inclined to make it extra special, make a drawing of the family members or family pets.

18 – DIY food kits. Sometimes you’ll find great curated food gift boxes but they’re usually at a hefty price. You can create your own food gift boxes by buying products that you know the family or person will like. Some great ideas are cookie kits where you add a couple of cookie cutters, a glass jar of flour (measured), chocolate chips, a cotton towel, and instructions. Also try soup kits where you can add bags of beans, lentils, salt, pepper, and croutons or crackers. Place your carefully created food kits into a nice wicker basket or wooden crate for reuse later on.

19 – Board games and puzzles. With technology in practically every household these days, it’s nice to be able to have a couple of old fashioned board games and puzzles. Plus, they can bring hours of fun for the whole family. Try board games such as Monopoly and Clue and puzzles that have at least 1000 pieces to start with. These board games might stay in the family for years or can be easily donated later on.

20 – Monogrammed gift. You might think that a monogrammed mug or sweater might be expensive. But depending on what it is, you can find an elegant monogrammed mug that’s as low as $8. Better yet, buy a nice quality scarf or cotton tote bag and embroider or sew their initials on it. These gifts create a personal touch and help your recipient from getting their stuff stolen.

No matter what your holiday preferences are this year, you can make it fun, relaxing, and memorable. If you’re mailing gifts, be sure to check the shipping deadlines so your gifts will arrive on time. If you’re delivering in person in a safe way, then dropping your gifts off at the doorstep or a smaller get together is another option.

We can all be safer this holiday season if we just try and remember that the holidays are about being safe and peaceful. Even before the pandemic hit the world, we still wanted our family and friends to feel safe during the holidays and to have less stress and worries. And if you can’t travel or give extravagant gifts – your recipients will most likely understand this time of year.

From my family to yours – we wish you a happy, healthy, and peaceful holiday season!

*photo credits to BHG.com and Mermaid Straw.

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

 

Little Life Lessons – The Purpose of Life

When you’re a young child, life seems to be a constant bliss of playtime, food, and sleep. Before the age of five, the meaning of life wasn’t even a notion on your plate. As you grow older, so does your brain and your life experiences, and you start to pick up nuances and virtues along the way. But as we get into adulthood, sometimes the virtues we learned as a child get lost or displaced. We sometimes lose track of what it means to be a human being and more so, a decent human being.

What makes a person truly virtuous? You might see heroic or selfless acts from people all over the world. Is it an innate obligation to do right and to help others? We’ve seen people risk their lives to save another. We’ve seen someone pay for another person’s groceries. And we’ve seen people stand up to bullies. Perhaps they learned at a young age to just “do the right thing”, or they learned through hard lessons in life. But I ask this – what exactly is the right thing to do? And when is the right time to talk to our kids about virtue, honesty, and purpose?

When you’re school-aged, the importance of learning fundamental math and language arts is already part of the school curriculum. But how do you learn about your life purpose? And who do you learn it from? Our teachers can only teach what is offered in school. But sometimes you get lucky and you meet a teacher who teaches you how to succeed in life. I was fortunate to have met a few teachers who taught about humanity and compassion, and their teachings were amplified through their own kind actions.

As I nurture and teach my own child as he grows up, I hope and pray that he’ll have the necessary tools to navigate through adulthood. I wish he will grow up to be a person with values and virtues. With kindness and compassion. But I can only provide him with what I learned while living at home and through my own personal experiences.

At every opportunity possible, I try to talk to my son about his “life purpose”. And then I wonder if I start sounding like I’m forcing him to be someone he’s not, or doesn’t want to grow up to be. Oftentimes as parents, we reflect what we wish we were onto our children. Us parents might not have done all the things we wish we had done as children. Wished we had talked a certain way. Acted a certain way. Or became a different person. But I know that while he’s going through his own growing pains, I do see specks of kindness and purpose in him. He realizes what is important right now and that’s okay for me.

So when is a good time to teach children about “life’s purposes”? Experts might tell you that children don’t really grasp the meaning of life until they’re teenagers. But as soon as your child is old enough to start learning the difference between right and wrong, would be the best time to start. 

Below I’ve listed some talking points for your children depending on age. Of course everyone is different, and a child’s age doesn’t necessarily correlate with maturity and mentality. Please note that some of these questions are what I’ve come across throughout my years working with children.

Primary school age (grades 1-3):

  • Do you like school? Why/Why not?

  • Do you like your friends? Why/Why not?

  • What do you like best about school?

  • What do you like least about school?

  • What do you want to learn from your teachers?

  • What do you want your teachers to teach you?

  • Do you like animals? If so, what kind of animal?

  • What do you want to be when you grow up? Why do you want to be that?

Primary school age (grades 4-5):

  • Do you like school? Why/Why not?

  • What would you do if you meet a bully?

  • What would you do if you meet a stranger?

  • What do you want to learn from your teachers?

  • What do you want your teachers to teach you?

  • Why do you think homework is important?

  • Why do you think you should manage your hygiene?

  • What do you want to be when you grow up? Why do you want to be that?

Secondary school age (grades 6-8):

  • Do you like school? Why/Why not?

  • What would you do if you meet a bully?

  • What would you do if you find a $20 bill on the ground?

  • What would you do if you find a $5 bill on the ground?

  • Do you think you should say thank you even when you don’t need to?

  • Do you think you should help pay for your classmate’s lunch? 

  • Do you like animals? Why/Why not?

  • Do you care about your planet/environment? Why/Why not?

  • How do you think you can improve situations around you?

  • What would you do if someone fell on the floor?

  • What would you do if someone asks to copy your homework?

High school age (grades 9-12):

  • Do you like school? Why/Why not?

  • What’s most important in your life right now?

  • Why do you care about things?

  • What are your goals in high school?

  • Why are these goals important to you?

  • What would you do if your friend stops being your friend?

  • What do you think it means to be a good person?

  • What can you do to make a positive impact on the world?

  • What do you do if someone asks you to do something that isn’t right?

  • What do you hope to accomplish in 5 years? In 10 years? In 20 years?

  • How will you accomplish these goals?

As we’re approaching the holiday season, staying home and staying safe, this would be a great time to talk to your kids about these important topics. If you start asking these questions at a young age and then continue through high school, you might notice a dramatic change or very little change. But the wonderful thing about that is to see just exactly how your children changes as they get older. Oftentimes we’re afraid to ask our children the big questions. Heck, sometimes we’re even afraid to ask ourselves those same questions. But the sooner you get your children to open up about their own views of the world, the easier it is to talk to them about life’s little lessons and their own purpose in life.

For an in-depth talk with your teens, check out The Greater Good initiative: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/talk_with_teens_about_purpose

 

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

 

 

 

10 Ways to an Eco-Friendly Holiday Season

Every year, most of us are wondering how to plan for the holiday season. Some of us might have already started shopping for family and friends months before, while some of us wait until the very last minute. But as 2020 brought us so much conflict and turmoil, we could all try to end the year with something more positive.

I can’t go by the holiday season without writing something about an eco-friendly holiday. By now, you can probably guess that I love helping people and companies that are trying to do more positive things for our planet. Our lives can literally go by in a flash without much thought to it, but when it comes down to what we truly believe and hope for, doing good for our planet will in turn do good for future generations. Add in some sprinkles of hope and joy and we can all try to do better for the planet and for ourselves.

10 WAYS TO GO ECO-FRIENDLY FOR THE HOLIDAYS:

1 – Handmade or homemade gifts.

– I haven’t yet met a single person who hasn’t enjoyed a handmade gift. Whether it’s from a child, a professional artist, or a dear friend, there’s just something unique and personal about a gift that’s made from scratch. To best choose what handmade gift to give, find out what the receiver enjoys. Does she like gardening? Cooking? Or an avid reader? Start off with what the recipient enjoys most and go from there. When making gifts from scratch, choose products and ingredients that are biodegradable and compostable. Ideas for handmade gifts include: soy candles, lotions made from essential oils, bookmarks and cards made from scratch paper or cardboard boxes, organic cookies, and homemade candies placed inside reusable glass jars. 

2 – Give the Love of Nature: 

Who wouldn’t enjoy a nice long-lasting plant or a well curated gardening kit? Nature gifts are perfect for anyone of any age and gender. To nurture the love of nature for children, get them something that’s easy to start with and require more hands on activities. You can also grow some plants from seeds (but start early, depending on the plant). When the seeds are sprouted and become seedlings, transfer them into clay pots or glass jars, depending on what you’re growing.

–  Heirloom seed packets. Gardeners who have some experience will enjoy seeds saved from heirloom plants. To find heirloom seeds, check out local nurseries or purchase online from specialty stores such as seedsavers.org

– Support national parks and arboretums. Our national parks are centuries old and behold such wonder that it’s important to help preserve them. Check out your state parks or national park organizations by purchasing memberships for your recipient. They’ll be able to enjoy these memberships by strolling through majestic trees and enjoying the fresh, clean air around them.

3 – Reuse newspapers, magazines, and catalogues. If you have lots of these hanging around your house, you can reuse them as wrapping paper or crafts. Magazines and newspapers make great wrapping paper, giving them an unusual and unique look to gifts. And because they are made from paper (most ink are safe when decomposed), they can be composted and broken down.

 

 

4 – Online classes/lesson. Depending on where you live and the restrictions put in place due to the pandemic, you can offer online classes as gifts. Check out local stores or nationwide companies that offer cooking classes, gardening classes, and even classes on nature. For children, have them try online classes from Outschool (https://outschool.com) and Coding with Kids (https://www.codingwithkids.com). Most of these online classes are supplemental study that inspire and nurture creativity and thinking. Depending on what your recipient enjoys, online classes can go at their own pace and provides the safety of learning in your own home.

5 – Buy eco-friendly products. As we’re trying to move away from unnecessary waste in our world, buying gifts that are made from renewable resources, biodegradable or compostable, and made from post consumer recycled materials are just easy paths to a cleaner planet. You lose nothing in buying eco-friendly and eco-conscious products but your recipient will gain the appreciation that you care about the environment and their health. Great companies to purchase eco-friendly gifts that also give back include: Plaine Products (https://www.plaineproducts.com/ref/Suzan%20C./) and use code: HappyMom to get 20% off total purchase. Honeybunch Naturals (https://www.honeybunchnaturals.com/) and NetZero Company (https://www.netzerocompany.com/?rfsn=4401981.96cae8). Sign up for their newsletter to receive 10% off. 

6 – Host a local park or beach cleanup. By giving back to your community, you are also helping your city and your neighbors live in a cleaner environment. Due to the pandemic, be sure to wear masks, gloves, and separate your clean up crew accordingly. Best time to start a clean up is early in the morning when there are less people around. You can also do a neighborhood cleanup with just a few friends or siblings.

7 – Reuse holiday decorations. We all love to buy something new now and then, whether it’s for actual use or as therapy. But we don’t really need to buy new decorations and supplies for the holidays. Save your holiday decorations from previous years and reuse them again. If you must purchase some new ones, make sure to buy sustainably made decorations and reduce your plastic consumption.

8 – Use nature as inspiration. The best ways of helping our environment is to use what we already have in nature. Try decorating with natural flowers, fruit, and plants. Bring nature indoors by using leaves as table decorations, dried fruit as name tags, and flowers as wrapping ribbons. Check out this fun and therapeutic garland made from orange peels.

9 – Donate to charities. In a perfect world, we would all live peacefully and comfortably. But unfortunately not all of us will be able to enjoy a warm meal this holiday season. When we talk about the environment, we’re not only referring to nature. The environment is everything that’s around us, which includes all living beings. If you can set aside money and time to donate this holiday season, check out your local donation centers, food pantries, and animal shelters.

10 – Buy products with less packaging/Reduce waste. 

Many products that we buy in stores and online come wrapped in horrible packaging that are usually unrecyclable. If you must purchase online, I encourage you to shop consciously with companies that try to ship with reduced or carbon neutral shipping. Also look for less packaging or packaging in reusable materials such as paper, cloth, or cardboard. Another idea is to buy in bulk at a retail store and then package the gifts yourself. The Japanese culture has been wrapping their gifts in fabric called Furoshiki. The recipient can reuse the fabric, which is usually a fancy cotton material.

– We should all know by now that reducing waste is the first step to cleaning up our planet. This holiday season, think about whether we really need to buy those big ticket items, or expensive gifts that the recipient won’t need or use. Holidays conjure up bright and frivolous spending because we might be trying to show off or overcompensate for something. Think about why we are gifting to others. Is it something they really need? And if they don’t receive it, does it really matter in the long scope of things? If we can all think consciously about what we buy and why we buy them, then perhaps we can all take more steps to cleaning up our planet and helping our world become a much better place.

*Stay tuned on my blog for more eco-friendly gift ideas.

 

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm

 

 

 

 

Ways to a tranquil Autumn season

The year 2020 has brought us a lot of confusion and turmoil. For many, it has been worse. For most, it is a day by day situation. But now is the best time to start getting ready to decompress, regroup, and put ourselves in a more calming mind for the fall season. We still have to weather through the raging storm, but we can try to find more positive ways of doing it.

Below I’ve listed ways of helping yourself to a more calming and tranquil state of mind. These tips work well for children too.

8 Steps to a Calmer Mind:

  • The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique. Find a quiet place that’s not too bright. Close your eyes and inhale for 4 seconds, then hold your breath for 7 seconds. Then exhale with a whooshing sound for 8 seconds. This unique technique was developed by Dr. Andrew Weil to help people who might experience anxiety or stress. Children can learn this technique if they have trouble settling down, concentrating, or sleeping.

  • Use Aromatherapy. While aromatherapy dates back for many centuries, some do not know the exact health benefits of it. The most important thing to remember is to use only natural and 100% essential oils to start. Once you have some experience with aromatherapy, you can experiment with different techniques and formulations. Essential oils that are great for relaxation and clearing the mind are: lavender, peppermint oil, frankincense, lemon balm, and eucalyptus. Make sure you do not apply directly onto the skin due to their potency. The only essential oil that is safe enough for direct contact would be lavender oil. Aromatherapy treatment can be used on children, but be sure to start off slowly and with small amounts due to any allergens that may arise.

  • Exercise. To truly enjoy a relaxing night sleep or to decompress from a tough day, exercise gently. Depending on your physical wellness and experience, you can start off with these gentle exercises: stretching, hip rotations, and soft leg lunges. After you’re done with exercising, do a gentle self massage starting from your head to your face, down to your chest area and arms, and along your legs and feet. The best times for self massage are before sleep and after exercising.

  • Eat healthy. Any physician or health expert will tell you that eating the right food can help you live better and longer. But do we truly know what types of food to eat for health and wellness? Start off with eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. Reduce grain intake, and cut down on sugar, sodium, and non-essential fats. Food directly relates to our mind and body so choose food that is better for you.

  • Sleep. When we sleep, our body is going through a routine of cleansing and rebuilding. Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), our bodies must meet a balance to function properly. This is the ying and yang philosophy of balancing qi – or the essence of life. During the hours of sleep, the organs in our bodies are processing to repair and replenish. See the chart below for more info.

  • Reduce electronics use. We’re in the era of fast information and even faster processing. But all these information are mostly received via electronics such as computers, smartphones, and tablets. Even television can put us into a zombie-like state overloaded with information that could potentially harm us. Plus, the electromagnetic fields in our bodies can get greatly affected by all the electricity running throughout the day. Add on top of the hazardous blue light, it’s no wonder that our minds have a difficult time to calm down. Particularly for children, reduce their screen time so that they can focus better in school and develop a healthier mindset.

  • Clean house. We can all agree that a cluttered house invites a cluttered mind. The art of keeping your house clean and tidy starts from reducing what you have at home. We all get tempted now and then to buy something new which inevitably will end up as something we don’t use or want to keep. For great cleaning tips, check out Martha Stewart’s Living.

  • Meditation. Meditating on a regular basis requires practice and dedication. It’s not easy for most people to sit quietly for longer than 5 minutes and to be completely relaxed. The relaxation state while meditating takes a great amount of practice but it’s not difficult to do. Start off with just 3 minutes and gradually work your way up. Be sure you are in a quiet place with low lighting and play soft music in the background if it’ll help you. Breathe slowly and purposefully. Eventually while you’re meditating, your mind will be able to calm and stay peaceful. Children as young as 5 years old can practice meditation as long as you are doing it with them.

The path to being more at peace can be difficult. With so much going on in our world right now, it’s no wonder that many of us are having a tough time. Start within yourself first so that you can see what is troubling you the most. Practice the steps above and eventually you can find a better path to a healthier mindset.

*photo from dailymind.com

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

http://www.topmommyblogs.com/blogs/in.php?id=storm